One Stop is taking its new franchise format into Scotland for the first time, John Miller head of franchise operations, has revealed.

Miller said the company had just recruited a business development manager for Scotland who was scheduled to start mid-January. The candidate was currently working out his notice elsewhere so Miller declined to name him.

“We are looking at starting out in the central belt, establishing a number of stores and then growing from there. It’s all about quality retailers, quality stores and people are brought in to a franchising model that is about retailing rather than wholesaling,” Miller said.

“Symbol groups are traditionally wholesalers. We are interested in selling the products out of the stores rather than filling up store rooms.”

Miller added that One Stop was looking to have about 100 franchises in the UK by the end of February, the end of its financial year – almost double the current number.

Miller revealed the Scottish plans after One Stop announced it had gained another regional cluster with five new franchises opening in as many weeks in the Stoke-on-Trent area, in the West Midlands.

Three had been poached from Londis, one from Premier and the other from Nisa.

The Stoke-on-Trent franchisees join other small clusters in Darlington, Leeds, Cardiff  and Scunthorpe.

The stores range from 1,000 sq ft to 2,700 sq ft and include one on the outskirts of Stoke, in Ipstones, which has been serving customers at the same location for more than 100 years.

Miller said: “It’s great from a customer perspective to see the One Stop brand growing among independent retailers; it’s also handy to show potential franchisees a number of different types of store within a 10-15 mile radius.

“As our franchise estate continues to grow, these clusters will become more and more of a regular occurrence,” he said.