The Today's' Group has revealed ambitious plans to double its number of symbol stores by 2012 and ramp up standards among existing stores.

Speaking exclusively to Convenience Store, Today's Group managing director Bill Laird said the group, which plans to increase its number of symbol stores from just under 200 to more than 500 by 2012, would give its competitors a run for their money.

He said: "We have been asleep, and Booker and Landmark have been able to steal a march, but now we are wide awake. There are 22,000 cash and carry retailers out there, and a vast swathe of them already visit Today's. We will go for them.

"Quality and sustainability will be key, though. We won't be like some of the other symbols who took on large swathes of stores and probably regret some of their decisions now."

Today's stores will benefit from a fresh new fascia and beefed-up support package including the relaunched Plan For Profit scheme.

Standards will also be kept high with the introduction of a mystery shopper scheme in the coming year.

And in addition to launching a bold new look for the smaller format Day Today's fascia, the group will also be rolling out a new drinks-led convenience offer, Local Drinks, which it hopes will soak up much of the off-licence business left by Thresher's demise.

Laird added: "We have hidden our light under a bushel for the past few years. We've not been brash enough and people, even some suppliers, didn't really know who we were. That's all going to change now. We've been working so hard and now is the time to shout about it."

Read more
Today’s Local Drinks is launched in retail push (19 November 2010)
Baines takes over as trading director at the Today’s Group (02 Ocotober 2010)
Today’s achieves best figures for six years despite recession (20 February 2010)