How to buy a convenience store

betterRetailing talks to store owners about what retailers need to consider and what they need to do to get the best deal

How to buy a convenience store

Buying or selling a store is one of the most consequential business decisions any retailer can make. It comes with significant opportunities to profit, but also the risk of taking a wrong step along the way. And that’s even before the lawyers get involved. 

For this reason, store owners who have recently bought or sold their stores are united in their advice to other retailers to not expect a sale to happen overnight, nor for a store to be ready for reopening the moment contracts are signed. 

“Getting the building in your name is just one part of the process. Even getting staff ready takes 10 weeks,” says Mital Morar, who owns and runs several General Store-branded convenience stores through his Manchester-based Store Group business. “You have to recruit them, train them and get them up to speed with your internal processes.” 

In addition, retailers must spend time building the right range, fully merchandising the retail space and formulating a winning offer that will encourage customers in. 

“From the moment we start discussions about getting a new site to the doors opening can take anything from three-to-six months – and that’s for a brand-new site,” says Morar. 

The same is true for selling a convenience store

“Things always take longer than you think,” explains Ferhan Ashiq, who recently sold his Day-Today store in Prestonpans, East Lothian

“We had a buyer in place almost immediately for the store, but it still took six months to complete the negotiations and for all the legal elements to be done.” 

With that in mind, it’s worth finding out how some of the UK’s best independent retailers buy and sell their businesses when the time comes – there’s clearly no time to lose. 

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