The Midcounties Co-operative, the UK’s largest independent Co-operative, has agreed a deal to purchase four of the Cotswolds-based Warner’s Budgens food stores, a deal that will complete this summer.
Midcounties Co-operative has supermarkets and convenience stores across a number of counties and prides itself on supporting local producers and suppliers. Its store in Bourton-on-the-Water was selected last year by the Institute of Grocery Distribution as one of the top stores of its type in Europe thanks to its local sourcing programme.
The acquisition of the Warner’s Budgens stores will strengthen its presence in the Cotswolds and give greater access for its members to high quality food stores.
The four Warner’s Budgens stores are in Bidford-on-Avon, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh and Winchcombe and are currently owned and operated by independent retailer Guy Warner who, under the terms of the deal, will retain freehold ownership of the four properties.
Guy Warner, who opened his first supermarket in Broadway in 2006, said the sale to Midcounties Co-operative was a vote of confidence in the success of the Warner’s Budgens brand which has just notched up its two best years of sales since its launch in 2006. It also offers him the opportunity to invest in new sites and develop his existing petrol forecourt businesses where the Warner’s Budgens brand will continue.
Warner said: “In the past 11 years we’ve developed four highly successful food stores, reaching a turnover of £20 million in 2017-18. Midcounties is an excellent fit for these stores as we have shared community values as well as a total commitment to supplying more locally-sourced food and drink products. Our staff will have greater opportunities in a larger organisation and our customers will benefit from the Co-op’s extensive own brand range.”
He added: “We are proud to serve shoppers in the Cotswolds and will continue to do so with our petrol forecourt businesses and new ventures.”
Phil Ponsonby, group CEO of The Midcounties Co-operative, commented: “We’ll be delighted to welcome the Warner’s Budgens colleagues into our Midcounties family as they’ve an excellent reputation for great customer service and product knowledge and will be a valuable addition to the Society. The quality of the stores that Guy Warner has built up over a number of years now provides us with a fantastic base to build upon.
“This latest purchase will also help strengthen our relationships with local producers, allowing us to continue to develop and grow our Best of our Counties range of locally produced food and drink. In addition, we will offer an increased range of own brand products to provide even more choice for shoppers.”