Simply Fresh is looking to add at least another 40 stores to its estate this year with both Simply Fresh and Simple Local formats.
The group is hoping to open five smaller Simply Fresh stores, 800sq ft, in the second quarter, situated in affluent areas of London, including South Wimbledon and South Kensington. “Although this will open up more opportunities for new retailers, we are very selective in who we give the brand to, they must have aspirations and a want to push the boundaries of a normal convenience store,” said Kash Khera, managing director of Simply Fresh.
Simply Local stores, which are easier for retailers to obtain, will be expanding even further with 12 stores currently in the pipeline.
Healthy and affordable food-to-go is an area the group is hoping to develop in the coming stores. The Hungry Joes take-away food concept can already be found in a Coventry Simply Local store, offering traditional foods cooked in store such as Panini’s, pizzas, chips, burgers and piri piri chicken. None of the food is deep fried in order to keep it a healthier option.
A further development is the Simple Fresh Kitchen. Downton Simply Fresh in Wiltshire was the first store to trial this idea, offering ready meals such as stews, lamb moussaka, lasagne, soups, salads and puddings. The store also has a delivery service for local elderly people. “Priced at £3 to £4 and restaurant quality,” Kash added. “We are all about being affordable and healthy.”
The group has also recently acquired a number of Midcounties stores which it hopes to pass on to independent retailers.