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Source: The Grocer Business Lunch 2022

The business is opening two more sites in 2022, having launched three others last year

Store Group is focusing on growth and expansion after beefing up its senior team with a new COO and CFO.

The independent retailer and hospitality specialist is opening two more sites in 2022. Its estate currently consists of six convenience stores and two food halls across Greater Manchester, having launched three sites last year. 

The new additions will include a new General Store – the business’s convenience store brand – at Kampus in Manchester City Centre, and a new foodhall site which is set to open its doors in Northwich this summer. The business has also set its sights set on a new unit in Yorkshire for the first time.

The vision for General Store is to create a place where traditional ‘corner shop’ values are combined with a modern, bespoke approach designed to serve a diverse range of communities, the business explained. Its foodhalls, on the other hand, intend to evolve from that to include a hospitality offer, such as street food-inspired cuisine, artisan coffee and craft beer on tap.

“What we offer is the best possible in-store retail experience,” said Store Group founder Mital Morar. “We build shops and foodhalls that are created bespoke for the surrounding communities, that embrace local makers and independent brands, as well as provide that core convenient ‘corner shop’ offer that I grew up with.

“It’s beans and toilet paper alongside artisan vegan doughnuts and locally made honey. We believe in the community store, and our expansion plans showcase how important this is for our customers too.”

The expansion plans come as the business appointed Lee Rhodes as its new chief operating officer and Kevin Boyle as chief financial officer in the latter part of last year.

Rhodes brought a wealth of experience from the senior leadership team at Sainsbury’s, where he progressed within store operations as well as developing customer offers and experiences. His new role sees him head up the entire operation at Store Group, as well as shaping and developing the internal and external offer to support the continued growth and development of the brand.

Boyle was appointed to help achieve the business’s growth plans and build strong internal controls, systems and processes. He is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and brings a wealth of financial and commercial awareness, from leading teams in both SME and large corporations, to Store Group.

Morar added: “I’m delighted to welcome Lee and Kevin to the Store Group. They bring with them the perfect blend of experience to take the business to the next level.

“Together we are looking forward to delivering a considered expansion plan that will take the company in the right direction in a post-pandemic retail world.”