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