>>enthusiasm but also doubts over better buying power

Shahid Ali, manager, Londis store in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire
“I will have to go through the fine detail of the offer before making my final decision, but I’m all for it in principle, providing they don’t start any silly tactics, or impose lots of new disciplines. I can see why it would be good for Budgens - it gives them a route into Scotland.”

Dave Fenwick, owner, Londis stores in Wootton Bassett and Marlborough, Wiltshire
“I am disgusted. Store owners who make £40,000 per week in sales getting the same as someone making £5,000 per week doesn’t seem fair. All the large retailers within Londis are up in arms and we’re trying to contact each other about it. As for the directors getting so much money, they have been getting well paid for the job they do, but without us they wouldn’t have been able to do it. If there’s anything we can do to prevent the deal, we will.
“They are both members of Nisa so I can’t see how they will be able to get better buying power. In fact, I think they could lose a lot of business. I don’t see how we will see better prices because the whole point of Londis is that there is no separate wholesaler taking a cut. Musgrave will want a margin.”

Lynden Griffiths, Post Office Stores, Blackmill, Bridgend.
“I’m very annoyed by the size of the payout the directors are getting. I will vote against it. I’ve been a member for 18 years. I don’t see any harm in going into
a stronger group, but I think it’s a pity the last retailer-owned symbol group will end.”

Margaret Mahlberg - owns a shop in the village of Marldon, South Devon
“There is more to be told about the deal but it appears to be a good thing. We’ll be part of a bigger organisation with greater buying power that should get us better deals.
“And the money? Well you forget that you have a share in Londis, so it’s a very nice surprise. My business manager said he felt like Santa Claus calling up the retailers and telling them of the bonus. But I would accept the offer regardless of the money. The fact that the directors get a big pay off does not affect my decision.”
Del Patel, Londis, Kettering
“It concerns me how they [the directors] can be given such enormous amounts and individual retailers not get more. It seems very unfair. I might vote against it if I thought it could affect their payment, but I think the majority who don’t know about this will vote in favour.
“However, a company that size taking over Londis can only be good. With more buying power they will be able to get better prices which should mean I get better margins.
“They also provide every day delivery of fresh groceries and chilled, and it would be good if they could improve our service.
“I know a fair bit about Musgrave because I recently considered joining Budgens. I wanted to expand my store and looked at their option.”
Gabriel Green, owner, Londis store, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
“Everything seems fine. I don’t know much about Musgrave as a company beyond what I’ve read in the financial press. But if the acquisition makes for a better buying group with more power, then I’m all for it.”

Asif Manji, owner, Londis store, Northampton
“I’m fairly new to Londis so having an extra £10,000 for my membership isn’t bad. But most of that will go on the refit my store is going through. I wouldn’t be tempted to take the money and then join another group - I like the service I’ve been getting. I don’t know much about Musgrave, but I don’t see any problems with switching ownership.”
John Emeny, chairman and owner of Rusts, based in Swindon