Tesco may be in the depths of a financial crisis, but there’s no stopping its convenience store chain One Stop.
Sales at the retailer, which Tesco has owned since 2003, rose 9.5% from £720m to £789m in the year to 22 February 2014, according to accounts released at Companies House this week, boosted by store openings and a new franchise offer. Pre-tax profits climbed 2.7% to £38m.
Without citing figures, One Stop attributed “strong” like-for-like growth to a “broader customer selection, and improved quality and availability of the fresh range”.
As well as 33 stores acquired from independent Spar retailer Alfred Jones in October 2013, 52 new stores opened - “a mixture of cold starts and acquisitions.”
The retailer also trialled and rolled out its franchise operation during the financial period. Writing in the accounts, the directors said they expected the franchise offer - which now has more than 50 stores - to be a “significant source of growth in the coming periods”.
“The directors expect the nature of the business to broaden in the next financial period as One Stop continues to develop and strengthen its franchising business,” it added.
Staffing costs jumped 10.5% as the average employee numbers rose to 9,767 from 9,243 last year and full-time staff rose to 5,103 from 4,859.
As well as expanding its franchise offer since the year end, One Stop also relaunched its chilled range in April with new products and an evening meal deal.