FreshXpress, the grocery chain that emerged from the ashes of Kwik Save, is being supplied through a combination of stock left over in closed Kwik Save stores and c-store chain Costcutter, The Grocer can reveal.
FreshXpress purchased 56 Kwik Save stores in an £18m pre-pack administration deal, earlier this month. It has now opened 34 of these under the FreshXpress fascia and plans to sell the remainder. Costcutter declined to reveal the terms of its arrangement.
However, since stores began to open last weekend, the nature of the offer has begun to emerge. Stores, open seven days a week, are selling branded groceries across all major categories including fresh and chilled, frozen, alcohol and tobacco. They also have newspapers and magazines. Plans are afoot to join forces with retail partners to introduce fish, deli, butcher and bakery elements.
Most of the hastily opened stores were sporting temporary fascias and remained unchanged internally from their previous incarnations as Kwik Saves.
Just two stores - in Kings Heath, Birmingham, and St Helens, Merseyside - showed how the chain would look once an extensive refurb programme had been carried out.
Customers were tempted back to stores with the offer of a free pint of milk each morning during the opening week. "We've got a much bigger range and plenty of stock and it's looking really good," one store manager told The Grocer. "Customers are starting to come back slowly and the future is looking hopeful."