Sainsbury has bought its third convenience store operator, Midlands-based JB Beaumont Ltd, which ranked 48 on The Grocer’s Top 50 list.

JB Beaumont has six convenience stores across the East Midlands and its turnover for the year ended May 29 was £13 million.

The acquisition by Sainsbury follows that of Bells Stores in February and Jacksons in August, and it adds to the grocery retailer’s current convenience store portfolio of 260 convenience stores, standing at 2% of the c-store market.

Sainsbury has stated in the past that it aims to grow sales in its convenience business by £400 million by the end of 2007/08.

Jim McCarthy, managing director of convenience at Sainsbury's said, “We are delighted that we have been able to acquire JB Beaumont Ltd and increase our presence in the East Midlands. They have quality stores in good locations and it fits perfectly with our new convenience strategy to grow our portfolio of neighbourhood convenience stores.”

Louise Beaumont, managing director of JB Beaumont Ltd said, “We're delighted to be working alongside Sainsbury's and this deal will enable us to continue to grow our business, enhance our customer offer and preserve our local identity.”

The neighbourhood convenience store operator has been a family business since Henry Beaumont began trading as a butcher in Kirkby-in-Ashfield more than a century ago.

The company’s expansion began 40 years ago when John Burrell Beaumont opened a second outlet in Bingham, which is now the highest earning store with sales of £66,000 a week. The expansion then led to its current total of six stores.

In a recent article on The Grocer Top 50 (August 14 2004), The Grocer reported that JB Beaumont had a strong focus on fresh food, and it generated £20,000 a week from locally sourced fruit and vegetable sales alone. Its chilled offer had also doubled in two years and some stores have a bakery and a hot food counter.

Speaking to The Grocer in August, Richard Beaumont said: “We try where we can to source locally.” This includes supplies from a butcher who provides locally sourced meat.

Sainsbury and JB Beaumont have announced they will work together to combine Beaumont's strong local and fresh offer with Sainsbury's knowledge of convenience foods.

The six stores will operate as a separate business unit to Sainsbury and will continue to be run by the current management team led by Louise Beaumont.