Off-licence chain Wine Cellar has moved further down the c-store route with the full-scale roll out of a new Simply Food & Drinks format across 11 of its stores.

The company, which is looking to capture a significant share of the smaller c-store market, has been trialling the new concept for the past six months in 11 former Booze Buster off licences. Palmer & Harvey McLane and Kerry Foods are supplying the stores, which have an average size of 800sq ft.

The company, which opened its flagship Simply Food & Drinks store in Widnes, Cheshire, last month, has confirmed further conversions would come from the 152 Booze Buster off-licences in its 230-strong estate of stores.

Wine Cellar managing director Paul Gaskell said: “There’s a gap in the market for a chain of company-owned smaller food and drink stores which fit between convenience formats operated by the multiples and independent retailers. Initial trials have been very positive. We’re generating higher sales and margins than our conventional off licences.”