The Rhythm & Booze fascia could be offered to independent retailers as a franchise operation, Costcutter has said.

The Top 50 independent off-licence chain, which was bought out of administration last week by Costcutter’s owner, Bibby Retail Services, overextended itself after picking up 34 former Threshers stores, said Costcutter CEO Nick Ivel.

Though the priority was to stabilise trade for the 68 stores though the crucial spring/summer period, in the long term Costcutter would look at franchising it as its fourth fascia.

A convenience offer would be added to some stores, while a handful would be converted to the Costcutter fascia, Ivel added.

Costcutter snapped up Rhythm & Booze last week after the off-licence chain fell into administration. It was 24th on The Grocer’s Top 50 ranking of the UK’s independent grocery retailers, with sales of £64m in the year to 30 June 2010. Profits were down 26% to £577,000 during the period.