Bargain Booze snaps up 127 P&H stores

Bargain Booze has bought 109 Central Convenience stores from Palmer & Harvey (P&H) for £25million.

Bargain Booze has bought 109 Central Convenience stores from Palmer & Harvey (P&H) for £25million.

The deal also sees the symbol group take over the role of franchisor for an addition 18 franchisee ran stores in the UK.

Alcohol wholesaler and Bargain Booze owner Conviviality said it plans to convert nearly all the new sites to Bargain Booze Select Convenience stores, with the remaining four to be converted to its pure off license Bargain Booze format. It estimates this conversion will take “three to six months.” It said all 127 stores will receive a visit from Conviviality in the 10 days following the takeover.

Central Convenience Stores (CCS) was a quickly growing and profitable arm of P&H’s business, with £75million in annual sales delivering £2.8million in annual profits. Conviviality said the “pipeline” for several new franchisees currently planning on opening Central Convenience Stores was under review.

CCS was mainly based in the South and South West of England and included 47 post offices and 20 petrol forecourts.

Aiden Mcdonald owns Church Bridge Stores, a CCS franchise store. Mcdonald told Retail Express: “We’re optimistic but uncompromising. Bargain Booze runs good quality, successful outlets and we are confident they are a well-run company, but the devil is in the detail.”

“I’m interested to find out more about its grocery supply as the ranging and availability in this sector is a key aspect of our store,” he continued.

Convivality CEO Diane Hunter said the deal would “Support our strategic goal to be the drinks and impulse sector’s leading independent distributor.” She added “We look forward to welcoming colleagues from Central Convenience to the Conviviality Group."

The deal marks the first acquisition of P&H assets following the wholesaler's liquidation, with last week's talks to acquire P&H's van sales divisions ending unsuccesfully.


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