Bibby buys off-licence chain Rhythm & Booze

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Costcutter owner Bibby Retail Services has bought off-licence chain R&M Swaine, which operates under the Rhythm & Booze fascia, from administration.

Bibby said it was “committed to quickly restoring Rhythm & Booze back to its former glory” and planned to convert some of the sites into c-stores.

“Rhythm & Booze is a very well respected business and one that we have long admired,” said Nick Ivel, director of Bibby Retail Services and CEO of Costcutter.

“Under the stewardship of Bibby Retail Services we are confident that we can quickly re-establish its prominence and implement a robust business strategy that will lead to longer-term growth and expansion. We are committed to expanding our portfolio of company owned stores and this is an important deal that adds a significant number of new sites to the group.”

R&M Swaine had 68 stores and in the year to 30 June 2010 reported a 28% increase in sales to £50m. However profits dropped 26% to £577,000 during the period. It was 26th on The Grocer’s Top 50 ranking of the UK’s biggest independent grocery retailers.

Martin Swaine will remain with the company as MD.

“I am delighted that Bibby Retail Services has purchased the business and that the future of the brand and that of my loyal staff has been secured,” he said. “Bibby Retail Services is committed to giving the business the support needed to revive its fortunes and I will be working closely with the new owners to ensure an effective integration of the business and to drive it forward into the future.”

Readers' comments (3)

  • Its a sad to hear that another retailer (local to me) has had to be rescued. I have to say you could see it coming, you cant run a business of that size on only 577k net profit. I wonder if Bibby can turn it around or whether its a decision they will live to regret.

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  • I think that someone should get their act together, after about 6 weeks and i still can't get a bottle of whisky, I have to get a bus to the nearest shop to get one, I think it is absolutely disgusting. There is only one rhythm and booze shop in the area and it has hardly any stock attall WHY?????

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  • I agree with John in part. My local R&B store opened to a great fanfare with fantastic offers, regular deliveries & great staffing levels.

    In the last 6 months the stocks have been un-reliable & the quality on offer at best 2nd rate.

    If R&B are to succeed they truly need to get their act together! Sales may have been better had the branch's actually had stock in them to sell!

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