MBL sharpens its wholesale focus

MBL managing director Mike Taylor will update delegates on his company’s integration of Budgens and Londis and progress towards its goal of becoming solely a wholesaler.

The company has committed itself to selling off its estate of Budgens stores to local independent retailers and is on target to have divested its last store during 2008.

It has also come up with revised positioning for its two retail brands with an optimum size for Londis stores of 1,000-2,000sq ft, and Budgens stores measuring 2,000-10,000sq ft. Londis stores exceeding 2,000sq ft will be able to remain in Londis if they wish, but some have already chosen to convert to the larger format, and some smaller Budgens stores have been converted to Londis as part of the divestment process.

Fresh products also play an important part in the new positioning. They are expected to make up 20-25% of the sales mix in Londis stores and to exceed 25% in Budgens stores.

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