Costcutter takes 20 pc stake in convenience group Simply Fresh

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CONVENIENCE RETAIL group Costcutter has taken a 20 per cent stake in rival Simply Fresh.

The Simply Fresh brand was launched in 2009 by retailers Sukhjit and Kash Khera, allowing independent retailers to join its network. It puts an emphasis on fresh produce in local stores.

It has 48 stores in its network, which was originally established in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

Simply Fresh is on track to expand to more than 60 stores by the end of the year. The deal with Costcutter will support its growth plans of more than 300 stores in the next five years.

Simply Fresh director Mr Khera said the business shares the same goals as the Costcutter group, which it has an existing business relationship with.

He said: “With access to Costcutter Supermarkets Group’s infrastructure and the full support of its team behind Simply Fresh we can continue the growth and strategic development of the business at a much quicker rate than we could have done on our own.”

Daniel Quest, retailer director for Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said Simply Fresh is “an innovative addition to the symbol group sector”.

He said: “It is clear to see the growth potential for the Simply Fresh brand and its vision reflects ours, so working together on its future development is a natural next step.”

York-based Costcutter Supermarkets Group operates the Costcutter, Kwik Save and Mace brands.

Earlier this year, it severed long-standing distribution ties with convenience store group Nisa Retail.

It subsequently went into partnership with rival wholesaler Palmer and Harvey.