Bestway bosses have announced the opening of eight new-generation Best One stores and pledged to open a further 50 before the year is out.
The openings include three of the group's smaller Best One Xpress stores. All eight stores fit into the group's new 'Olympic' standard, where refurbished stores are awarded gold, silver or bronze standards, depending on the stage of their development.
The Best One group now has 422 members, with stores stretching from Bradford in Yorkshire to Poole, Dorset.
Best One controller James Hall told Convenience Store that the new specification stores had created a great deal of interest. He said: "We've got another 10 stores in the planning stage and expect to complete 50 to the new specification from new accounts this year. Retailers are very excited by it. The way we operate is getting a fresh look and the Best One offering to consumers will be that much stronger as a result. This includes the Best One Xpress brand of smaller stores in new locations with guaranteed footfall, new signage, products and services."
On top of the store openings, six new business development executives have been recruited. A new publication, Best Talk, is also being launched for Best One retail members. It is hoped the publication will improve communication across the group and involve members in developing the business.
Hall added: "We will concentrate on getting new members open and up to standard and then go back and address our members who need updating. It's going to be a busy year."