Londis retailers are looking to the future with renewed heart as they bank the final proceeds from the group’s sale to Musgrave.

Members have this month received cheques for £15,822 as the final instalment of the £60m Musgrave takeover to form new group MBL. A clear majority of retailers contacted by C-Store were going to use the money to fund store development, and most report that the group has never been in better shape.

Ben Patel, who runs a store in Minster, Kent, said: “We’re looking at a major overhaul of the shop so we’ll invest the money in that. I am pleased with the way things are going at MBL - they’re definitely heading in the right direction. I feel like we’re more part of the company now. The Budgens chilled and fresh offer is excellent, as good as what you see in Waitrose, plus we’ve had a price reduction on cigarettes and beer.
“I’m sure some retailers will leave now they’ve got their money but the ones left will be of a better quality.

Perhaps now is a time for a name change to reflect the changes.”

Richard Hipkin’s store in Marks Tey, Essex, has recently been refurbished and he said he now has “a proper customer/supplier relationship” with the wholesaler. He said: “We’re delighted. The service is excellent, deliveries are more accurate, there are no damages, prices are down and the range is bigger.”

Bob Barnett of Londis in Stithians, Truro, said: “We’d like new epos and new lighting for the store and perhaps a holiday. We’ve noticed no real changes, although it is harder to get hold of people at head office level.”

What you could buy with £15,822

A Ford Mondeo LX and half a tank of petrol

Two Hyundai Getz superminis with some cash to spare

Two first-class British Airways tickets from London to New York plus a little spending money

13.75 season tickets to Chelsea FC

10 nights in a deluxe suite at The Ritz, London