Budgens is in “great shape” after recruiting 70 stores in the past year and expanding in to 12 new counties, according to brand director Mike Baker.

Baker said the Budgens estate now totalled 250 sites, with recruitment coming from all symbol groups as well as existing Budgens retailers opening new stores.

A new depot in Yorkshire has driven store openings in northern locations such as Newcastle for the first time, he told C-Store.

“We’ve only lost one retailer, who is retiring,” he added.

Most new stores are between 3,000sq ft and 5,000sq ft in size, although a number of small format stores are also opening, such as a 1,400sq ft site in Gipsy Hill, south London.

Owned by Kiri Kiritharan, the store opened in April with weekly sales currently at £23,000. It incorporates the Budgens proposition, including the meal for tonight solution.