Northern off-licence chain Rhythm & Booze has more than doubled its profits in the past year.
Its pre-tax profits increased 155% to £780,794 in the year ending June 2009, while turnover was up 37% to £50.1m, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Other independent off-licences struggled to compete with supermarket deals during the period.
MD Martin Swaine said the company’s success was down to its affordable prices and strong promotions, likening it to “a poor man’s Oddbins”. He expected a dramatic increase in turnover this year following the acquisition of 34 stores from Threshers owner First Quench Retailing, which fell into administration in November. “Buying 34 stores is a big deal for me I’m almost doubling our store numbers,” he said.
The new stores range from 450 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft, with some in town centres a departure from R&B’s usual quieter locations.
Swaine admitted many of the stores had been making a loss under FQR, but insisted the acquisition was “not a risky venture”. “It will improve our buying power and give us more credibility, especially with wine,” he added.
But despite his ambitions, he insisted he planned to stay regional. “It’s easier to operate an off-licence chain on a regional than a national basis, because the cost of distribution is less.”