South-west England SPAR distributor, Appleby Westward has acquired the Southampton-based mini convenience chain, Denovo Retail, adding a further 17 stores to its company-owned retail estate. Denovo will continue to operate separately to the core AW store business. Under a new name, Wessex Retail, Denovo's directors will work in partnership with AW to drive further acquisitions for the regional SPAR network.
Mike Boardman, Managing Director, Appleby Westward commented:
'This is a very exciting acquisition for us which strengthens both our wholesale and retail businesses quickly with over £20m additional annual retail turnover and nearly £4m Texaco branded fuel ... The launch of Wessex Retail gives us a great platform for future growth as we move into the 2020s.'
Appleby Westward now has 88 company-owned stores
Though a late-starter amongst the UK SPAR distributor as an operator of stores, Appleby Westward now owns 88 convenience stores, with plans to add at least two more in 2020. Along with this company-owned estate Appleby Westward services over 200 independently owned stores also trading as SPAR. In its last reported accounts to September 2018, Appleby Westward (a subsidiary of Irish SPAR distributor BWG) had turnover of £133m.
Denovo previously affiliated to Southern Co-op
The Denovo chain of stores has, to date, been supplied under a franchise agreement with Southern Co-op, the regional co-op trading across the southern counties of England. Stores were previously branded Co-op and will now be converted to SPAR formats. In addition to Denovo, Southern has also developed a network of 32 independent retail franchise stores trading as Welcome. The Welcome stores are unaffected by this acquisition.