The Sussex Grocer Hassocks

Sussex-based retailer David Knight has moved his stores to the Morrisons ‘Together With’ model.

Having been a Budgens retailer for 17 years, David decided that the time was right to move to the Morrisons ‘Together With’ model, saying it was a “shot in the arm for the business”.

His Hassocks and Steyning stores have been rebranded as ‘The Sussex Grocer’ with the Morrisons partnership now in operation.

“We’ve been with Budgens for a very long time and it was tough to move on but the timing was right for us. I’ve seen how well the Morrisons model has worked for larger stores like ours and it was the right fit for our business,” he explained. “The staff and customers have been very enthusiastic about the change to Morrisons and have embraced it.”

David praised the Morrisons team for the support provided in the run-up to the launch. “It was next-level support from the Morrisons team and they’re working with us to make it a success while allowing us to develop and grow our own brand. They’ve encouraged us to create our own identity and develop a truly independent feel for the store while having the Morrisons own-label offer.”

David also plans to open a third store in Sussex later this year, also under the Sussex Grocer banner. He previously ran a site in Henfield but sold it to Sainsbury’s in January 2023.

He explained that with the change in branding and supply model, came a different approach for the business. “We’re stocking more lines and we’re aiming for higher volume sales to offset the value offer that the Morrisons range provides. We’ve moved from around 5,000 lines to over 7,000 with space to add more in the future.”

As well as the Morrisons range, David and his team are still working with local suppliers. “Morrisons has been very flexible on that front,” he said. “We have access to the Morrisons own label range, including a substantial meal deal offer, but can continue to offer the locally-sourced lines that made us unique. They [Morrisons] have also left promotions up to us so we can offer the deals that work for our customer base as we know them best.”

Several high-profile retailers have joined the Morrisons ‘Together With’ format, including Jempsons, Warner’s and Joshua James’ Fresh & Proper offering.