Bargain Booze franchisees have voiced renewed concerns about the business following its acquisition by ECI Partners three weeks ago.
One told The Grocer: “Venture capitalists only want to build businesses up and get rid of them. I’m concerned franchisees’ feelings are not being taken into consideration and many of us have a lot of money invested in the business.”
Other franchisees spoke of cashflow problems: “The company seems to be trying to raise money by increasing retrospective discounts. Shops have been charged for products and reimbursed six weeks later. By then, they have bought more but at an inflated cost.”
However, others this week told The Grocer they were happy with the acquisition and the business’s prospects.
Matthew Hughes, Bargain Booze joint MD, dismissed the grumblings: “Retrospective discounting is standard business practice. We pass on all our profits and more. We have held several franchise meetings in the past week and there has been no feedback to suggest concerns.”