The Scottish Grocers’ Federation has welcomed the news that Booker is to acquire Londis and Budgens in a £40 million deal as a positive move for the independent convenience store industry in Scotland. Londis, which operates more than 1,900 convenience stores, reported sales in the year to December of £504m. Budgens, a franchised chain with over 180 outlets, racked up sales of £329m last year.
It is understood that the Londis and Budgens brand names will remain, and sit alongside the existing Booker retail brands, Premier and Family Shopper. All of Booker’s Premier symbol group stores are independently owned. SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema said,
“This is a bold and visionary move by Booker and its Chief Executive Charles Wilson. We believe this will help to strengthen the independent convenience store sector as it faces increasing pressures from both the ongoing supermarket price war and the expansion of the discounters.”
Booker said completion of the deal was conditional on the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority.