Finally, after lots of false starts, Knight’s Budgens has expanded. We purchased our new store in Henfield, West Sussex, last week and as of yet I have failed to pause for breath! The store itself (aside from facing the threat of one the mults next year) is in a great location and we feel we can bring a lot of what has worked so well for us in Hassocks to this store.

We are very pleased with the initial reaction as many villagers had used our Hassocks store and were looking forward to what changes we could make. Lots of my fellow multi-site retailers have offered me words of wisdom over the past few weeks and I thank them for all for their kind and honest advice. Even over the past week, with Christmas being so close, it is easy to feel pulled in different directions between the stores.

But with the stores just seven miles apart we are already experiencing the benefits by transferring stock between the sites. We have been able to use the fantastic Budgens delivery service in this process as the same lorries deliver to both daily. When the dust finally settles in January and I get some  time to analyse things there will be lots of group synergies that I hope to exploit.

While all the madness was going on before the purchase it was great to see Sunder Sandher pay a visit to Hassocks on his ACS tour. Sunder got to experience just how important the local community is to us and saw the culmination of lots of hard work in the annual ‘Light up Hassocks’ event which we help to organise. So with only a week to go before Christmas I wish you all  successful trading and hope that everyone gets to spend at least some time with family and friends over the period.”