euro garages

Click here to see the full rankings of the Top 50 Independent Retailers

Forecourts remain the key drivers of growth in the independent sector, as revealed by The Grocer’s 14th annual Top 50.

Combined sales for the 10 forecourt operators to make the list were up 19.3%, massively outperforming the seven other sectors represented. 

Euro Garages, which came in at number four, recorded the strongest sales growth in the rankings, up 42.8% to £804.1m for the year ending July 2015.

And the dominance of indie forecourt retailers persisted despite three major forecourt operators exiting the list in a series of buyouts and public listings. They included last year’s number one, MRH GB, which was acquired by US private equity firm Lone Star for a multibillion sum in January.

In the preceding few months, Brobot was bought by HKS Holdings, and Irish forecourt operator Petrogas UK converted from a private company to a plc.

The MRH GB sell-off meant there was a new number one this year with variety store TJ Morris taking the top spot after a sales boost of 15.3%. 

It was followed close behind by rival Wilko, although it posted a steep 80.1% drop in pre-tax profits to £5.5m after investing heavily in modernising its operations during 2015. 

Frozen food specialist Farmfoods came in third after recording an 18% rise in sales and a 37.2% rise in pre-tax profits. 

Six new entries made the ranking in 2016 including the first retailer with no physical stores, online organic veg delivery service Riverford Organic, which entered the table at number 24, with sales of £47.2m.

Click here to download the full data of the top 50.