Booker sells 15 Budgens stores to the Co-Op

Booker has sold 15 company-owned Budgens convenience stores across the South West, South East and London to the Co-Operative Group.

The Manchester-headquartered mutual has acquired the outlets, which all currently trade as Budgens, from the Wellingborough-based food wholesaler for an undisclosed sum.

The stores are located in Bedgrove, Bradford-on-Avon, Byfleet, Chalfont St Peter, Crouch End, East Barnet, Fakenham, Fulham, Grange Park, Northcourt, Parsons Green, Ripley, Sandy, Tysoe Street and Walton on the Hill.

Steve Murrells, chief executive of retail at the Co-operative Food, said: “Co-op Food continues to go from strength to strength, with a clear strategy that focuses on the growing convenience store market and our vision to establish ourselves as the number one convenience store operator.

“Our acquisitions programme is fundamental to the success of this strategy, and in 2016 the Co-operative is actively pursuing 100 new stores.

“The acquisition of these Budgens stores absolutely supports our focus on convenience store retailing.”

When Booker bought Budgens and Londis from Musgrave GB last year, CEO Charles Wilson told Wholesale News that Booker “was not in the business of competing with our own customers” and pledsged to sell off company-owned stores.

It is thought that following this latest sale, Booker has seven company-owned Budgens outlets left to sell.

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