Costcutter Supermarkets Group has taken a 20% stake in Simply Fresh.

The group has been the supply chain partner for Simply Fresh since the latter was established in 2009 by brothers Kash and Sukhjit Khera. Since then it has grown to 48 members, and is on track to reach 60 by the end of the year. With the financial backing of Costcutter, the plan is to grow the estate to more than 300 stores within five years.

Simply Fresh’s proposition is based around fresh and local food, innovative merchandising and food to go options, and a strong community focus. It was also the first symbol group to actively encourage retail members to reach out to customers via social media.

Simply Fresh managing director Kash Khera said: “We have been running convenience stores for many years and, when opening a new store, recognised that there was nothing out there to meet the needs of that specific community. We decided to look at creating something of our own in order to do that, and the result was the development of Simply Fresh; which we are very proud of.

“With access to Costcutter Supermarkets Group’s infrastructure and the full support of its team behind Simply Fresh we can continue the growth and strategic development of the business at a much quicker rate than we could have done on our own.”

Costcutter Supermarkets Group retail director Dan Quest added: “Simply Fresh is an innovative addition to the symbol group sector and complements our existing family of brands, which will help attract and inspire new and existing members. It offers a solution for retailers wanting to put increased focus on providing fresh produce for their customers, and we look forward to supporting the future development of this core proposition. It is clear to see the growth potential for the Simply Fresh brand and its vision reflects ours, so working together on its future development is a natural next step.”

As a joint partner, Costcutter Supermarkets Group will add the Simply Fresh fascia to its existing family of retail brands Costcutter, Kwiksave and Mace.