Costcutter owner Bibby Retail Services has bought off-licence chain R&M Swaine, which operates under the Rhythm & Booze fascia, from administration.
Bibby said it was “committed to quickly restoring Rhythm & Booze back to its former glory” and planned to convert some of the sites into c-stores.
“Rhythm & Booze is a very well respected business and one that we have long admired,” said Nick Ivel, director of Bibby Retail Services and CEO of Costcutter.
“Under the stewardship of Bibby Retail Services we are confident that we can quickly re-establish its prominence and implement a robust business strategy that will lead to longer-term growth and expansion. We are committed to expanding our portfolio of company owned stores and this is an important deal that adds a significant number of new sites to the group.”
R&M Swaine had 68 stores and in the year to 30 June 2010 reported a 28% increase in sales to £50m. However profits dropped 26% to £577,000 during the period. It was 26th on The Grocer’s Top 50 ranking of the UK’s biggest independent grocery retailers.
Martin Swaine will remain with the company as MD.
“I am delighted that Bibby Retail Services has purchased the business and that the future of the brand and that of my loyal staff has been secured,” he said. “Bibby Retail Services is committed to giving the business the support needed to revive its fortunes and I will be working closely with the new owners to ensure an effective integration of the business and to drive it forward into the future.”