New My Local boss Mike Greene has been tweeting this week about the newly-acquired M Local stores he has been visiting, reporting on the staff he meets and the great things he sees.

Multiple competition has long been a pressure point for local shops. And while the initial reaction to My Local has been largely positive, it got me thinking about whether it’s good news for independent retailers.

Mike Greene is not your typical multiple grocer chief executive. For a start he has intimate knowledge of what makes a c-store great and has done a lot to grow the convenience channel. As a two-time ACS chairman and board member for 19 years, he spent a great deal of time meeting, visiting and learning from some of the industry’s best stores. He certainly commands their respect, judging from the congratulations he received on social media.

From running shopper marketing firm Him! he will have one of the best supplier contacts books in the industry. This shows in the “crack team” he’s building at My Local, featuring former Nisa, Today’s and Lifestyle Express symbol boss Raj Krishan. As a major Nisa customer he will also benefit from the group’s infrastructure, ranging, own label and fresh offer.

Will the move of an independent retail expert into multiple
convenience be a huge threat or will it fuel further growth and better standards across the industry?

His passion for independent retail comes across when he talks about combining the entrepreneurialism of independents with the discipline of multiples. Copying your best bits and capitalising on your weaknesses will be a major factor in hitting his ambitious 18-month £300m target.

Will the move of an independent retail expert into multiple convenience be a huge threat or will it fuel further growth and better standards across the industry? Only time will tell, but it will certainly add some more colour over the coming months.

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