David Sands is actively looking to extend its presence in the forecourt sector, it has revealed. The Scottish c-store chain has already declared plans to grow its estate of 22 stores through a combination of new builds and acquisitions.

MD David Sands says: "We have an ongoing programme of store location and we're looking to enter the forecourt market. A lot of what we're doing in food-to-go would complement a forecourt offering."

The company has employed someone specifically to research potential forecourt acquisitions. However, the focus on the forecourt sector is at least partly to do with the fact that traditional c-store sites are becoming harder to find.

Expansion opportunities have been unlocked by the mile and a half move of the company's HQ and warehouse from Mil­nathort to Kinross' Bridgend Industrial Estate, boosting capacity. "There's no way we could have considered expanding further had we not moved and the staff see it as a vote of confidence in the business."

The transition, which has also paved the way for the development of two further stores in Fife in August, has been smooth, he says. The company has adjusted quickly to its new location and the re-jigged supply chain is operating efficiently.

A combined retail and residential development incorporating a c-store and flats is "at the planning stage", adds Sands, who is working closely with a property developer on the idea.

The company is also focusing on continuing to develop its local food offering. "Customers are telling us they want to see that," says Sands.

"More than 10% of what we stock in store is sourced within 20-30 miles of head office. Only recently we have taken on a new local fish supplier, a new local sausage supplier and a new local potato supplier."