It was a household name known for its cheesy 'Top Brands at Rock Bottom Prices' TV ads, but also for its long and drawn-out collapse into administration four years ago.
But now the Kwik Save name could be set for a return to Britain's high street as a convenience store, The Grocer can reveal.
The terms 'Kwik Save' and 'Kwiksave' have been trademarked by c-store chain Costcutter, which is currently in the middle of a review of its business. As part of the review, it is mulling over new fascias.
Speaking to The Grocer in April, Costcutter MD Nick Ivel said there were three distinct tiers in the convenience market premium, mid-market and low-end and he wanted to make sure Costcutter could operate in each of them. Costcutter currently only had one fascia and the review was assessing whether others were needed.
Costcutter has also trademarked the name 'Cost Buster' and 'Costbuster'. "We are in the process of registering a variety of trademarks," confirmed Costcutter marketing director Ian Bishop.
Costcutter does have a connection to Kwik Save. In April 2007, just three months before the chain collapsed, Costcutter revealed it had been approached to supply the discounter with branded lines, but an agreement was not reached because it was not prepared to risk supplying goods without payment up front. Costcutter then went on to supply FreshXpress, the chain that emerged out of the collapse of Kwik Save, but went out of business a year later.
Branding experts warned that it would be unwise for a successful business such as Costcutter to associate itself with a failed chain.
"The stores will most likely have residual associations with what Kwik Save was in the past, particularly among the generation who knew it," said Claire Nuttall, MD of branding agency 1HQ. "Consumers are likely to be interested in the value for money aspect but the brand will still need to deliver."
Branding consultant Jonathan Gabay added: "Costcutter needs to decide whether the name is rooted so far in the past that people won't associate it with that. Any brand has to have a clear message and if it doesn't, consumers will simply get confused."
Kwik Save was founded as Value Foods in 1959 by Albert Gubay. In the 1970s its name was changed to Kwik Save and the company was floated on the FTSE 100. It traded strongly throughout the 1970s and 1980s but supermarket value ranges in the 1990s hit hard and it merged with Somerfield in 1998.
In 2006, Somerfield sold the Kwik Save brand and 171 stores to investment vehicle Back To The Future. It was plagued by supply problems and just six months later BTTF closed 81 stores. But it was too late and Kwik Save fell into administration in July 2007.
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