Palmer & Harvey strengthens retail presence with IoW stores purchase

Palmer & Harvey’s Central Convenience Stores chain has acquired Spar retailer Hunnyhill Stores Group on thwe Isle of Wight for an undisclosed price.

The deal gives Central 12 outlets on the island and takes its total estate to 115 stores. The new outlets will all be conveted to the central fascia and will be serviced by P&H as their delivered wholesaler

Central, which is based in Ringwood, Hants, and which operates a mixture of c-stores, forecourts and CTNs (company-owned and franchised)  in the South and South West, said this week it wanted to open or acquire 300 convenience outlets by 2020. The chain was bought by P&H in 2012 and has grown strongly ever since, acquiring 50 outlets in 2016 alone.

Steve Wilkinson, Central managing director, described the new outlets as “much loved” and he planned to “take things forward with their ethos very much in mind,’ adding that they would receive investment.

“Our aim is to provide an offering centred on the best national brands alongside locally source products suited to an individual location. Central Stores are open extended hours, seven days a week with the community’s needs at the centre of our thinking”, he said.

John Perrett, managing director of Hunnyhill Stores group said when choosing who to sell the business to, he wanted to find a company that would be able to offer its staff the opportunities for secure and rewarding employment and continue to provide customers with “good value and excellent service”.

“With Central, we know that we are leaving our stores in safe hands,” he added.

Prior to its sale to Central, Hunnyhill – which was set up in 2001 – had planned expansion after Santander gave it £1m funding and it hoped to include more Post Office branches in its outlets.

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