Award-winning forecourt retailer Darren Briggs is extending his estate with the planned opening of his latest Best-one forecourt store in Stoke. This will bring the number of stores operated by his Ascona Retail Group to five.

Following on from the launch of his Hinton forecourt in October (formerly a Spar) and his Southam store in February (a former Londis), Darren secured the new site last month and is working with Bestway Wholesale to rebrand it as Best-One over the coming weeks.

Darren said: "To make the transition from having one or two stores to five or six needs a different focus and mindset. You have to devolve responsibility and be 100% confident in your team to ensure the day-to-day running of the businesses. Best-one’s support has enabled me to focus on growing the business as it takes time to pinpoint and evaluate the good sites."

Last year Darren won the West Country & Wales: up to 4mlpa category of the Forecourt Trader awards for Gulf Crossways.