Joint managing director Steve Jones told C-Store that despite the gloomy economic forecast, there had never been a cheaper time to invest in a store. "If you've got a good business plan and have the ability to borrow money, then you are in a very strong position at the moment," he said.
He added that the group's planned expansion was "not about quantity, but about enlisting high-quality stores".
The group is implementing new measures to grow store numbers and better support existing members. A promotions-focused marketing campaign to target local shoppers is set to kick off later this month. Adverts will appear in local newspapers, and the company said it would not rule out running a TV campaign at a later stage. Thousands of consumer leaflets will also be distributed, and impactful pos material sent to all stores.
Retailers are to be provided with new promotional leaflets, a regular newsletter with information on marketing campaigns and guidance on legislation, and the group will facilitate frequent retailer 'think tanks'.
"It's all about giving our existing members confidence during the current climate, and prompting other retailers to invest," Jones said.