Retail franchise group Simply Fresh has unveiled its latest generation of stores and launched a major recruitment drive.

Stores in Fox Street, Birmingham, and Kenilworth, Warwickshire, now include the latest imagery and design concept, which give particular prominence to fresh, chilled and local foods.

Although originating in the West Midlands, the group is now recruiting nationally. It has 10 stores signed and wants 20 by the end of the year.

Simply Fresh has a supply agreement with Costcutter and benefits from group trading terms. The model requires retailers to invest in high levels of fresh and chilled food, typically 20m of chilled food and 3m of fruit & veg.

As a condition of membership, every store has to be affiliated to a local charity, offer carrier bag recycling facilities in-store and use local produce suppliers where appropriate.

The group also has its own offer leaflet, pos material and Simply Fresh customer loyalty card through Costcutter’s C-Pos till system. The group is also working on a bespoke website template for each store.

The group and two of the 10 stores are run by brothers Kash and Sukhjit Khera, who cheekily describe the concept as “Budgens without the budget”.

Kash told C-Store: “It’s all about the retailers. We know how hard it can be to turn ideas into action, so we are making it easy for them. It’s much easier to do the right thing if there is the support to do the work for you.”

Kash added that it was also developing a group of stores under the Simply Local banner for retailers unable to make a big commitment to fresh and chilled.