Simply Fresh is in early discussions with Bestway to open some of the first Wine Rack hybrid stores, with several shops under the symbol group already earmarked for conversion.
Simply Fresh founder Kash Khera told Better Retailing the hybrid sites can help provide an opportunity to offer unique services, such as premium alcohol alongside in-store food and wine tastings. He said: “We’re in early discussions and we’ve earmarked a couple of potential sites for the Wine Rack hybrid.
“It’s a good opportunity and Wine Rack offers a premium brand and point of difference through events such as tastings. It’s about having the right fit and right location.”
Khera added the conversations with Bestway have also examined the potential to combine the Bargain Booze brand with the Simply Fresh’s Simply Local format.
Bestway first unveiled its plans for a hybrid store format last year, with the first Costcutter Bargain Booze shop opening in Meopham, Kent. Although the Bargain Booze Costcutter estate has been slowly growing, there is yet to be a Wine Rack hybrid. The discussions with Simply Fresh also mark the first time a Bargain Booze hybrid outside of the Bestway symbol estate has been explored.
Khera added Simply Fresh retailers have also been given more options for alcohol supply, after the Bargain Booze supply chain has been made available to them.
He said: “The attraction of the Simply Fresh brand is the wide range of supply options on offer to retailers. We are very flexible on what is available to stores. They’ve got access to Nisa and Co-op, alongside 400 direct to store suppliers through central billing.
“We can also get alcohol supply through the Bargain Booze and Bestway supply chain. We see both fresh and BWS as a major opportunity. There’s a supply option for retailers, regardless of whether they decided to focus on BWS or fresh.”
Bestway has been approached for comment
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