The Today’s Group is set to break the 100 barrier for retailers signed up to its Local and Express fascias by the end of the year.

The Group currently has 50 Today’s Local stores and 10 Today’s Express stores in operation but expects the figure to double over the next three months. The company had previously hoped to break the 50 mark by the end of 2005 but, according to Today’s Group managing director Rodney Hunt, proactive recruitment by wholesale members and retail customers has led to “expectations being surpassed”.

The Express fascia, aimed at the company’s forecourt-based stores, was launched in November 2003, with the Local fascia aimed at standalone c-stores launched soon after. Hunt said: “Retail customers of our wholesalers are recognising the need for a higher level of support and the professional image a symbol group provides. The package we now have is one of the best in the business. The positive results include our retailers experiencing on average a 30% uplift in sales within the first two weeks of a refit.”

Today’s Group member First Choice Wholesale, based in Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, is the latest to sign up retail members to the Local fascia, with 11 joining on the same day. Managing director Steven Ainger said: “Work has begun on each of the 11 stores and we’re planning a big launch on completion.”