The Alldays convenience store chain has almost completed the buyback of its franchise operations ­ with 26 of the 32 so called Regional Development Companies now under its control. Negotiations with one of the remaining six RDCs are said to be at an advanced stage, and the company is in discussions with the rest about the way forward. Chairman George Duncan is relaxed about the prospect that some of the RDCs may remain outside Alldays' full control ­ perhaps as part owned subsidiaries. He said: "If we own all our stores we would have a clear and transparent organisation. There's bound to be less clarity if there's a couple of subsidiaries. "But this is about the aspirations of the RDC owners as well. The solutions will vary. But we can continue with any of these scenarios now that we have brought the bulk of the stores in." Alldays now owns 657 stores of the 802 in its network. But it says it is too early to say how many company owned stores may be sold or closed down because they are underperforming. Alldays reported a pretax loss of £5.9m for the year to October 31, compared with a £13.6m profit the year before. Turnover from continuing operations was up 20% at £439m. The company was hit by an £84.7m exceptional reorganisation relating largely to its RDC buyback programme. l What next for Alldays? p33. {{NEWS }}