MFG has confirmed its acquisition of award-winning Top 50 Indie, Simon Smith Retail.

The seven-strong group has been a high-profile player in the forecourt retailing sector for many years, with its entrpreneurial flair and high standards of operation. It won Forecourt Trader of the Year back in 2005 and Forecourt Trader’s Retailer Champion award in 2013, among many accolades.

Simon Smith Retail, which was listed at number 45 in this year’s Top 50 Indies, was a small, family business based in Gloucester, with seven modern, well-developed forecourts, run by father and daughter team Brian and Susie Tew.

The company was formed more than 40 years ago by Brian, when he left Shell, and he and his wife Vicky became licensees of a small, Shell-owned site in Cheltenham. Over the years they built up their business, buying and selling sites.

Meanwhile, Susie was no stranger to the forecourt business having worked in the shops during her school holidays.

She joined as partner in 2004 and wasted no time in making her presence felt in the industry, winning the NACS Global Scholarship competition in the same year, when she saw off rivals from the US and Australia. Her success globally was swiftly followed by her becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Forecourt Trader of the Year awards in 2005, at the age of 28.

It should really have come as no great surprise as the ambitious Susie attended her first Forecourt Trader of the Year awards in 2002, when she vowed that one day it would be her up on that stage receiving the industry’s highest accolade.

Always keen to keep up with the latest retail trends, the company spent a lot of time and money developing its sites to ensure they stayed relevant to today’s ever demanding consumers. Design was key, across both the forecourts and stores, as was ‘building a rapport’ with customers and delivering great service in order to keep them coming back.

Simon Smith also saw great value in working with big fuel brands and favoured Gulf and Shell.

MFG is the UK’s biggest independent retailer with circa 900 sites.