Demand for forecourt sites is driving the growth, with Somerfield’s purchase of 118 forecourt sites from Texaco for around £15.3m, and 22 sites from Fuelforce for £1.5m, prime examples of the trend. Christie & Co director of retail Tony Evans said: “In the past 18 months to two years, the multiples have increased their interest in the c-store sector, most recently with Sainsbury’s acquisition of SL Shaw’s five stores in the South East. “We believe this interest is set to continue but in a more selective way. “The market is also being fuelled by c-store operators looking into different formats for their expansion, such as forecourts.”
Interest in post office stores is also high. Christie & Co confirmed it had sold three times as many post offices in the first four months of 2005 than during the same period in 2004.