Ascona Group welcomes retail pioneer Colin Graves to the Board as a Non-Executive Director

Source: Ascona Group

He founded Costcutter in 1986 and remained chairman until 2012

Costcutter Supermarkets founder Colin Graves has joined Ascona Group’s board as non-executive director.

He started the role on 1 April, bringing his “convenience retail sector and visionary leadership” to help Ascona Group execute its “strategic ambitions”, the forecourt retailer said.

At the age of 21, Graves began his career at Spar, where he would go on to spend the next 16 years, finishing his time at the business as a sales director.

After gaining extensive experience at Spar, he founded Costcutter in 1986, providing a platform for independent retailers to compete with larger supermarkets through collective buying and marketing.

He remained chairman until 2012. During his tenure, he saw the Costcutter estate expand to over 1,700 stores.

Since then, he has served as chairman on the advisory board at Nisa, which is Ascona Group’s main supplier.

“We are thrilled to welcome Colin to the Ascona family,” said Ascona Group CEO Darren Briggs. “His unparalleled expertise in the convenience retail sector and visionary leadership are exactly what we need to help us execute our strategic ambitions.

“As a fellow founder of a business, Colin’s track record of success at Costcutter speaks for itself, and we are confident that his insights will be invaluable to us all as we continue to innovate and expand our world-class operations across the country.”

Graves added: ”I am very excited to be joining Ascona, a business I have admired for a long time and watched closely as it has grown. The business commitment to delivering quality, value and convenience to road users and communities across the country resonate with my own values and I look forward to working with Darren and the team on the next phase of its story.”

The announcement came as Ascona Group revealed it had acquired a 20-year lease for a forecourt in Aylesbury, taking its estate to 62 sites.

The 2,000 sq ft store will be re-branded to Nisa while its oil supply will switch from Esso to BP.

Briggs said: “We are delighted to add this forecourt to our expanding portfolio. With a number of other sites operated by Ascona in the local area, we are excited to further strengthen our presence in this part of the country.

“Adams Corner has been in the ownership of the Adams family since the 1960s, and we are thrilled that the family has trusted us with the management of the site for the next 20 years. As a fellow founder of a family-run business, we look forward to working closely with the family to create a world-class fuel and retail offering for the local community in Aylesbury.

“To date, we operate 62 forecourts in the UK, and we remain focused on becoming one of the top four independent fuel retailers in our market. With this new site part of the Ascona family, we look forward to executing our strategy of ‘Asconarisation’ as we introduce our combined fuel and retail offering and serve the local community’s needs over the next two decades and beyond.”