Costcutter is gearing up for the launch of its first MyCostcutter and Kwik Save fascia stores in early February.

The new Kwik Save fascia is designed for retailers who want to compete at the budget end of the market, while those looking for a more upmarket offer with a more premium feel both internally and externally can now turn to MyCostcutter, chief executive Nick Ivel told C-Store.

The MyCostcutter fascia is predominantly black rather than the group’s familiar white, and was created following consultation with member retailers, who identified the need to have different fascias for different market segments.

The Kwik Save brand was likely to grow rapidly in the current economic climate, Ivel added. “However, quick growth is not the aim of the MyCostcutter fascia,” he added. “At the top end of the market it’s all about location. I envisage much of the growth coming in Northern Ireland as there are lots of large shops in the right areas,” he added.

February will also see the first retailers embark on Costcutter’s Diploma in Convenience Retailing. The Diploma boasts six modules including managing retail operations, finance, and business development.

Ivel added that the year ahead would be tougher than ever, but retailers with the right attitudes and behaviours could thrive. “Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda, via the purchase of Netto, will all continue to take strides into our sector in 2012. However, competition doesn’t always have to be frightening. We’ve got many examples of Costcutter stores trading excellently next to Tesco Express stores. There is room in the market for both, but retailers can’t expect to open up in the morning and just sit there. They will have to work hard and offer world-class service.”