Saddle Inn services Preston

Source: EG On The Move Property

EG On The Move’s Saddle Inn Services opened a week and a half ago near Preston

Zuber Issa has announced today ambitious plans to build his own forecourt empire, by appointing a commercial real estate firm to acquire more than 120 new UK sites in the next three years.

The Blackburn-based entrepreneur will run his new business under the EG On The Move banner and has instructed commercial real estate firm Colliers to find new-build locations as well as existing businesses for him to develop with petrol forecourt, convenience retail and foodservice operations.

Zuber announced earlier this month that he is selling his shares in Asda to go it alone with the purchase of the 30-plus forecourts that remain with EG Group after it divested more than 350 of its sites to the supermarket chain. The £228m deal is expected to complete the second half of 2024. 

Under the agreement, Zuber will stay a non-executive director of the EG Group, with his brother Mohsin becoming the sole chief executive of the group that they built into one of the country’s biggest forecourt groups, with a series of interests in retail operations in Europe, Australia and the USA. 

Colliers says it is looking to pinpoint roadside properties on existing freehold and leasehold sites of between 0.35 and 10 acres, with a high volume of vehicle traffic or within densely populated areas.

According to the company, Colliers will also assess locations in shopping malls and student areas and close to office clusters or transport hubs for foodservice-only outlets of up to 1,500sq ft for brands including Starbucks, Popeyes, Subway, Greggs, Cinnabon, Sbarro and Chaiiwala. However, the majority of the new sites will have forecourt operations, although some of these, suggests the company, may be dedicated “EV hubs”.

Earlier this month, two EG On The Move sites opened, at Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire and Saddle Inn Services, near Preston, Lancashire. 

Neil Findlay, development director at EG On The Move Property, said the company’s partnerships with foodservice brands such as Starbucks and Greggs were crucial to its strategy: “The roadside convenience retail model is the backbone of our business, and with Colliers’ strong presence in the retail, restaurant and automotive sectors they will enable us to reach our goals.”

John Roberts, head of automotive & roadside at Colliers, added: “We are looking forward to expanding our relationship with one of the most well known and fastest growing occupiers in the United Kingdom. EG On The Move has a track record of delivering quality high profile roadside schemes throughout the UK.”

Tom Glynn, director in retail development & advisory at Colliers, said: “The sector is very competitive but with their experienced in-house team and their multiple formats from fuel, EV charging, drive-thru to convenience retailing and partnerships with international brands, we feel that EG On The Move will provide a clear difference within the market.”