Botterills Convenience Stores is on target to open another two outlets in 2005, it has been revealed.

Lizette Craig, managing director of the Lanarkshire-based chain, has confirmed the firm’s 41st store will open in Leith, Edinburgh in September. A new-build store in Hamilton is also expected to be up and running by the autumn.

In a rousing presentation to the recent Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) annual conference in Dunblane, Craig claimed the multiples were continuing to muscle in on the convenience sector because “they have nowhere else to go”. She said: “Yes, we have had offers but next year is our 50th anniversary in business and we are still growing. We are the biggest independent retailer remaining in Scotland. We will continue to look for new sites and continue to invest in our existing sites, but the biggest danger for us is frustration at not getting the sites we want.”

Craig admitted the entrance of the multiples into convenience had forced £60m turnover Botterills to become more professional. She praised the company’s 855 staff, its good working relationship with suppliers and its strong relationships with both Spar and the Scottish Grocers’ Federation.

Staff training and motivation would continue to be a priority for Botterills. “Training works, and treating staff well works,” said Craig. “Our staff retention is at a record high of 71%. Without our staff, we are nothing.”

The SWA has strengthened its council with the appointments of Simon Hannah of Glasgow-based JW Filshill, Warren Thomson, operations director of Booker Cash & Carry, and Rodney Hunt, managing director of boss of Nisa-Today’s.