The winners of the Convenience Retailers of the Year award run by Forecourt Trader’s sister publication, Convenience Store, have bought their first service station.
The Cheema family, who won the award for their Costcutter store at Tile Hill, Coventry, have bought the Texaco site just over a mile from their store from Petrocell, which was number 37 in Forecourt Trader’s Top 50 Indies in 2013.
Director Paul Cheema said they took over the site on December 17 and were remaining with Texaco for their fuel, but the Londis store has already had a mini refit to update the branding.
Cheema said the customer flow had also been changed inside the store and an additional 1,200 SKUs added and later this month it will be converted to become a Malcolm’s Costcutter, the own brand the family developed jointly with Costcutter.
He said that even before the re-branding they had already increased weekly shop turnover by £4,000 and they were benefiting from the local loyalty generated by their store which handles 11,000 transactions a week. He added that customers had also appreciated a goodwill gesture of reducing prices by 1ppl.
He praised Dermot Dowling, chairman of Petrocell, who sold the site for all the help he had provided. He said: “He stayed with us for the rest of the day after we took over the site to make sure everything was okay. How many vendors would do that?
“And he is still acting as a mentor to us, giving guidance on buying fuel and pricing, because we are new to the petrol side of the business.”
Cheema said they had a team looking at acquisitions in the convenience and discount retail sectors and they were definitely interested in buying more forecourt sites.