Greens of Markinch JPEG

Greens Retail continues to be on the acquisition trail following a record week of turnover.

Harris Aslam, group managing director, explained how they were well on track to hit its £100m goal by 2024.

On social media, he reported that like-for-like sales were up 16.42% and that overall trading was up 125%, driven by new acquisitions.

“Last week’s turnover was our busiest yet (since launching in 2014) taking annualised turnover to over £22m (placing us well on our way to our £100m 2024 target)!”

Harris praised the new additions to the business. “This is certainly testament to the phenomenal people we have in the business, not driving rather propelling ahead! From all of our front-line Store-based Superheroes to the fantastic (and also rapidly growing) Head Office support structure full of exceptionally talented individuals.”

Greens Retail has made some big acquisitions from a staff point of view – appointing former Nisa retail development manager David Bateman as its new head of retail in June, and former Jempson’s supplier business and marketing manager Dominic Plomer-Roberts as its new supplier relationship manager. Harris says there are more names to come.

Speaking to, Harris provided an update on Greens as well as how it has shifted focus since the start of the year.

The group has ambitions to open ten sites by the end of the year and is on track to hit that target, Harris explained that the group acquired four stores between June and July, and has plans in place to acquire another two in September.

“We’ve got a large pipeline of stores in some great locations that we’re very excited about.”

He said the group is currently focusing on existing stores rather than empty shells in order to get them up and running quicker. “What we’ve noticed is that an existing store resonates with customers more than a new site,” said Harris. “We’re still looking at empty shells but in reality, even a store with low sales will hit the ground running better than a new one so it’s easier to make that impact.”

Rising costs

Harris said the Greens offer has had to pivot to suit changing shopper habits, particularly with the rising cost of living. “We now have much more aligned promotional activity and ranges in our stores. Our operation is as lean as possible but still customer-centric to provide value and good service.”

The rising costs don’t stop with the customers and Harris adds the increasing cost of running a business is causing Greens to scrutinise its operations. “All rising costs are having an impact on us but energy is by far the most concerning. We’re still in contract but when we come out of them, we’re facing huge price rises and it has us concerned.

“What you can’t do though is bury your head in the sand,” says Harris. “We’ve been reviewing energy usage across the entire estate and investigating chiller doors, solar panels and LED in front and back of house. We’re really conducting and A-Z review from an energy point of view and examining where we can cut usage.

“Even the Skwishee machines which are in all of our stores – we’re investing in timers so they freeze at certain times and aren’t constantly running.”

He says that with the market being as tough as it is right now, every retailer needs to scrutinise their business. “Every independent retailer needs to consider the cost of everything and how much of a return it provides. If it’s not making money for you, it’s time to get rid of it.”