Bargain Booze

Conviviality Retail CEO Diana Hunter is delighted with the company’s performance since floating on AIM last month, she told The Grocer.

The Bargain Booze owner floated on 31 July with a placing price of £1, giving it a market cap of £66.7m. However, its shares were trading as high as 154.5p on Thursday morning, having hit a high of 155.5p earlier in the week.

“The timing is really good,” Hunter told The Grocer. “In terms of the float, it’s a good price, the yield is good, the market’s in a good place. It’s a good model that everyone understands.”

She also shrugged off concerns about the performance of the struggling off-licence sector, insisting Bargain Booze had a real point of difference because it was a “retail destination” for its customers.

“What we’re all seeing is a trend towards more small, convenience shopping,” she said. “So if it’s a Thursday or Friday night and shoppers just want to pop round the corner, locations like Bargain Booze are perfect for wine, crisps and chocolate.

“Naturally, I can see an opportunity for the business which is proudly off-licence led. Our choice is destination off-licence and the essentials. If you walked into multiples, it’s generally fresh food with a much smaller, narrower choice on the off-licence side.”

Its franchise proposition also gave it an advantage, she added.

“They are able to cope far better with the tough operational challenges,” Hunter said.

“They are not carrying the same corporate overheads. They tighten their belts, it’s their business. So it’s in their own interest to succeed. That push and energy really makes it work.”