MRH signs Booker supply deal and extends Budgens tie-up

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Forecourt operator MRH has signed a deal with Booker to supply 370 stores previously serviced by collapsed wholesaler Palmer & Harvey - and to roll out its retail partnership with Budgens to a further six sites.

Booker will supply the stores, which include MRH’s own brand Hurst sites, with chilled and ambient product lines. As of last week, all of these sites were receiving regular deliveries from Booker.

MRH will also extend its partnership with Booker’s symbol group Budgens, which is present at the five forecourts that MRH acquired from Peregrine Retail earlier this year. An additional six MRH sites will transition to Budgens, and are expected to be open by Easter next year.

The Hursts Grab and Go brand will be rolled out to five more sites, which will also open by Easter.

MRH chief executive Karen Dickens said: “We are delighted to have agreed this partnership with Booker, who have been incredibly supportive over the last three weeks. The strength of their brand and quality of service means we can offer our customers even more choice, and further enhances our fresh and food-to-eat-later credentials.

“Broadening our convenience offer is an important part of our strategy in creating ever more reasons for customers to visit and shop with us.”

Booker Group managing director of retail, Steve Fox, said: “It is our privilege to serve MRH as they operate great stores, with fantastic standards. I’m confident that this partnership will build on this success and we are looking forward to helping them drive footfall, sales and profits.”

The supply deal is for an undisclosed period of time.

Readers' comments (2)

  • This kind of deal, putting Budgens branding on less than ideal stores, will devalue the brand. If I was an established Budgens retailer I would not be happy.

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  • I agree with Professor Calba.

    Another of the largest petrol station retail groups, Motor Fuel Group (MFG) have all their filling stations branded as Londis or Budgens (previously Costcutter), yet they are basically standard garage shops, with high prices. They abandoned their Morrisons Daily trial and went with Booker's Budgens & Londis. They've clearly realised people will stop at their sites to pick up shopping while filling their tanks, as consumers will be drawn in by the recognisable convenience store brands. All the large groups operating petrol stations are at it.

    Shell's company owned Shell Select sites have been changing to Budgens and a few are now Little Waitrose stores operated directly by Shell (unlike the old Little Waitrose Shell service stations operated by Waitrose).

    With MRH (Malthurst), they are more keen on using their own brand, Hursts, though some of their sites are also Spar. Will be interesting to see if they transfer many sites to the Budgens and Londis brands.

    All Euro Garages forecourts trade as Spar.

    Rontec has some Spar stores but have mostly used their own brand, Shop'N Drive since ditching the Snax24 branding.Rontec have been converting many sites to Morrisons Daily, including the few Family Shopper (Booker) sites that they had.

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