Top 50 Indies forecourt operator Motor Fuel Group (MFG) has signed a new shop supply agreement with Booker Retail Partners (BRP), commencing on July.

Some 300 of MFG’s 374 station network will start to be supplied by BRP from this date and, at the same time; a major rebranding programme will commence introducing both the Londis and Budgens brands to the network.

Jeremy Clarke, chief operating officer, said: “After many months of trials and negotiations, we are delighted to be now working with the team at BRP. We believe that they can help us to develop our rapidly growing business model and also provide a rewarding offering for our contract managers and customers.

“This supply change will not affect our ongoing pilot with Morrisons which has recently been expanded.

“Costcutter will continue to be an important supplier to our business as we diversify our brands to meet customer expectations and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support in helping us build and develop our existing forecourt shop offer over the last four years.”

Steve Fox, managing director, Booker Group - Retail, said: “It is a privilege to serve the Motor Fuel Group. This new agreement is a fantastic opportunity for Booker Retail Partners to work in partnership with MFG and its contract managers to help grow and develop its business. We are delighted that the stores are joining the Londis and Budgens brands and I am looking forward to serving them from July.”

Dan Quest, retail director, Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: “We are disappointed that MFG is reducing the number of stores they have with us. However, we are pleased that we will maintain our long-standing relationship with them through the remaining stores that we will continue to service.

“It is extremely regrettable that we were unable to reach mutually acceptable terms to retain the whole MFG estate. However, we are of the firm opinion that this change will leave Costcutter Supermarkets Group and our retailers in a strong position for the future.

“We do not believe the lost volume will impact us or our retailers as the majority of the MFG volume is from tobacco where margins are small. As such, our actual revenue exposure is relatively low. Our strong recruitment programme means that we will be able to more than replace the lost volume and we do not expect any impact on our buying power because of the combined purchasing strength we have through the Buyco.

“We are also grateful to MFG for the opportunity they gave us to trial our new forecourt approach late last year. In those trials, we achieved impressive sales uplifts across the three sites through the introduction of a much wider offering of fresh, locally sourced foods and food-to-go. We are now in the process of formalising a new forecourt format developed from the output of that trial which we look forward to showcasing to our other 400 plus forecourt retailers. We know that our forecourt strategy of increasing retailer profit by focusing on sales growth through increased footfall and basket spend is the right way forward for our forecourt retailers.

“We look forward to continuing to work with MFG and using our expertise to further develop their retail offer.”