Paul Delves, the former managing director of independent supermarket chain Harry Tuffins, is back in business.
Harry Tuffins was sold in April last year by Delves’ parents Roy and Ruby Delves to Midcounties Co-operative Society for an undisclosed sum.
However, the Office of Fair Trading ruled earlier this year that Midcounties Co-op had to sell four of Harry Tuffins’ 10 stores for the deal to be approved.
Delves, who is the grandson of founder Harry Tuffin, has formed a new company called Delves & Co and has bought the Harry Tuffins store in Craven Arms, Shropshire.
He took over the store on Sunday, with all 70 staff transferring across to his new company under PAYE rules. The store is also being supplied again by Nisa - which had a long-term relationship with Tuffins before the business was sold.
At 28,000 sq ft, Craven Arms was the second-largest store in the former Harry Tuffins estate and had the biggest turnover. Delves said he planned to improve the entrance and enlarge the car park. Long-term, he also wants to expand the business.
“I’m looking at a few more sites,” he told The Grocer. “I hope my family will follow me into the business, and I want to get back into the Top 50 again.”
Tuffins was 23rd in The Grocer’s ranking of the UK’s Top 50 independent grocery retailers, with sales of £68m and profits of £617,000 in the year to 31 January 2011.
He added that his parents were “very supportive” of the move.