Warners Budgens Moreton-in-Marsh

The UK’s largest independent co-operative is set to expand into the Cotswolds after agreeing a deal to purchase four Warner’s Budgens stores.

Outlets in Bidford-on-Avon, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh and Winchcombe will join the Midcounties Co-operative fold when the deal is completed this summer.

The stores are currently operated by independent retailer Guy Warner, who opened his first supermarket in Broadway in 2006.

Read more: Central England Co-op invests over £13.4m in new stores

“In the past 11 years we’ve developed four highly successful food stores, reaching a turnover of £20m in 2017-18,” he said. “Midcounties is an excellent fit for these stores as we have shared community values as well as a total commitment to supplying more locally sourced food and drink products. Our staff will have greater opportunities in a larger organisation and our customers will benefit from the Co-op’s extensive own brand range”.

Under the terms of the deal, Warner will retain freehold ownership of the four properties.

He now intends to invest in new sites and develop his existing petrol forecourt businesses, which will operate under the Warner’s Budgens brand.

“The quality of the stores that Guy Warner has built up over a number of years now provides us with a fantastic base to build upon,” said Midcounties Co-operative group CEO Phil Ponsonby.

“This latest purchase will also help strengthen our relationships with local producers, allowing us to continue to develop and grow our Best of our Counties range of locally produced food and drink. In addition, we will offer an increased range of own-brand products to provide even more choice for shoppers.”