Londis has set out a new brand proposition designed to increase its focus on convenience and to make it more appealing to quality independent retailers.

A rationalisation of the membership has already begun, with up to 200 unprofitable accounts to be managed out of the estate by the end of the year. At the same time, a shared investment fund of £2.3m, double last year’s total, will be available to recruit new members and to help existing members to redevelop their stores. The target is to get 100 new Londis stores on board, and to refit a further 100.

The Londis brand has now been formally separated from Budgens, also owned by Musgrave, and a new price file will be set up in April, initially for one product category and then for the entire range. Until now, Budgens and Londis retailers used the same price file, limiting the pricing flexibility for convenience stores. In time, the new price file will be tiered based on store format, location and area demographics.

As part of the rationalisation of the estate, a simplified set of new trading terms will be brought in, with overrider bonuses based on seven key disciplines rather than the 19 currently in place. In addition, the loyalty threshold will be relaxed from 85% of stock purchases to 80% while the transition to the new system in implemented.

Brand support includes a continuation of the national radio campaign that started in December, with further bursts at Easter, mid-summer and Christmas, plus national press coupons and giveaways. In addition, the Smart Buy value range will be increased to 100 lines by end of year.

Londis brand director John Pattison told C-Store: “We want to raise the base level, to get real quality behind the brand.

“In the past we have been caught between being a symbol group and a delivered cash and carry, and we have to recognise that we can’t play that role. The brand is about supporting the independent retailer in their local community, and we are absolutely focused on being the best symbol group we can be.”