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Conviviality Retail to expand into Scotland

Published:  12 November, 2014

Conviviality Retail, owner of the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack brands, has revealed plans to expand into Scotland with its half-yearly trading update broadly in line with last year.

For the 26 weeks ended  October 26 Conviviality "continues to perform in line with market expectations" with unaudited revenues at £183 million, with like for like sales down 1.7% on last year.

The group says it is "confident" it will deliver a "positive second half and profitability will remain in line with our plan".  It is continuing to focus on improving its stores, investing in new fascias for all outlets, and developing click and collect for its online offering and new mobile app. 

It said Wine Rack continues to trade "in line with our expectations". So far it has franchised nine stores, and says there is "significant interest" in the remaining 14. Conviviality purchased Wine Rack in September 2013, and added 26 Rhythm & Booze outlets to its portfolio in May 2014.

Conviviality RetailBB's Warehouse focuses on bulk and multi buy discountsConviviality Retail's new concept is trading in line with expectations and plans are afoot for a second store. 

Back in July it opened its first BB's Warehouse in Wakefield, a larger format store than its usual, focused on multibuy and bulk discounting. It says it is also performing as expected and plans to open a second store later this year.

Conviviality Retail's new concept has an 800-strong range - including 400 wines, starting at £3.99 and offering a wide range of discounts.

As for its geographical expansion, Bargain Booze has signed a deal with Scottish Midland Co-operative Society Group (Scotmid) as its exclusive Scottish franchisee. A trial will be completed by June 2015 and, if successful, Bargain Booze franchise stores will be rolled out across Scotland.

Diana Hunter, chief executive, said: "We continue to maintain focus on our plans and our offer remains as competitive as before.  With the continued drive to re-fascia our stores, and the development of both the click and collect proposition and our mobile app, we have strong plans to deliver profitable growth for our franchisees and the company. 

"We are very excited to be working with Scotmid to bring Bargain Booze to Scottish consumers.  If successful, this trial has the potential to open up a new long term growth opportunity."

The group opened its first Bargain Booze in Kent in March, as part of an expansion drive in the south east.

Conviviality operates the UK's largest franchised off-licence and convenience chain with 600 stores. Franchisees recently shared more than £180,000 in the company's first payout of its Franchisee Reward Scheme.