Retail veteran Mike Greene has pledged to make his new My Local business “the best convenience estate in the country” by focusing on fresh food and creating stronger ties with local communities.

Mr Greene will head up the new group after securing 140 M Local convenience stores from Morrisons this month, as part of a £25m deal backed by investment firm Greybull Capital.

Speaking to RN, Mr Greene said he was currently visiting stores to prepare for the conversion of the entire estate to the new fascia on 25 October.

mike greeneI think with the team we have and the extra community focus, this will be the best convenience estate in this country.
Mike Greene, My Local

“We have a great bunch of stores and a great bunch of people," said Mr Greene, "and we want to make sure that everyone is secure. We have no plans to close stores.”

He is also looking to reopen 10 closed M Local stores, a move set to create 200 jobs, and is targeting initial sales of £215m for the group, growing to £300m during the next 18 months.

He said My Local will place a strong emphasis on fresh and chilled food, which will make up around 45% of a typical store’s product range. This comes as the group agreed a five-year supply deal with Nisa this month worth £1bn.

However, he added that more space will be dedicated to core categories including alcohol, snacks and food to go.

“Dalton (Philips, former Morrisons chief executive) had good intentions to make M Local the biggest provider of fresh in convenience. But that led to some products being under-spaced in stores. We’re looking to keep fresh but get the space proportionate to sales.”

In addition, Mr Greene said the group would look to build shopper loyalty by having all My Local businesses adopt a charity within a mile of their location, while 5% of each store’s product range will come from goods sourced within a 15-mile radius.

He added: “I think with the team we have and the extra community focus, this will be the best convenience estate in this country.”

What do you think of My Local and how will it affect your business? Leave your comments below.