Independent retailer Vic Grewal has sold his Budgens store in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, to the Midcounties Co-op, who outbid Sainsbury’s at the 11th hour.

He sold the 5,500sq ft store to Midcounties for £2m after his Budgens contract ran out last year. Sainsbury’s initially offered £1.2m, which Vic refused, and he eventually pushed the multiple up to £1.8m until Midcounties’ last-minute offer.

“It’s about being patient and waiting - it’s a psychological game,” said Vic, who also owns a Simply Fresh store in Thames Ditton, Surrey.

He said the main reason for selling was the impact of the National Living Wage. “The living wage would have added another £30,000 or £40,000 to the wage bill a year and things were getting out of hand. Every year the bills are going up, but sales and margins are going down. We’ll look at another smaller site further down the line.”

In February the Co-operative bought 15 company-owned Budgens stores from Booker for an undisclosed sum.