The new team in charge of the Balfour chain of stores is hitting the acquisitions trail earlier than planned. When the former One Stop management team bought the 120 store chain in March it believed its first year would be spent reshaping the existing business. However md Mike Taylor said: "We are ahead of the business plan and will start acquiring stores in the current year. A second acquisitions manager has recently been recruited to help with this." Taylor said there would be a net gain of about five stores this year, and they were looking to add 20 to 25 a year from next year. A number of the chain's CTNs have already been converted to c-store formats with a new fascia, and trading hours have been extended. Sixteen new liquor licences have been obtained. Another 16 applications will be heard in the next six weeks. {{NEWS }}