Somerset retailer Les Gilbert is boosting his offer with Better Buy Local – a fascia he designed to compete head to head with discount retailers like Poundland. Is it a necessity these days for independent retailers to be part of a symbol group in order to thrive?


“After 15 years with Londis, I’m joining Premier. My own opinion is I wish to be independent with the backing of a fascia. There are franchise opportunities out there that are very, very successful. I regarded myself as a village shop, but I wanted the backing of a fascia. I changed because it’s better for my business”

-Steve Morris, Dorrington Village Stores, Shrewsbury


“If you’re not part of a symbol group, if you don’t have the backing and the knowledge, whether it’s promotional or posters or displays, if you don’t have the merchandising system or product knowledge to help with that, then there’s no chance for an indie retailer to survive. It’s absolutely essential, even for the smallest retailer, to be part of a symbol group”

-Alpesh Patel, Londis, Finsbury Park, London


“I want to maintain my independence and I’ve gone over to Premier. The symbol is recognised, people drive past and know they can get what they want. I’ve been an indie all my life, but these days to keep up with the competition, it’s advantageous to be in a symbol group. You can still do your own deals”

-Shaz Naz, Hollingworth Village Store, Hollingworth, Cheshire