Best of British - a new chain of convenience stores selling British products in France - is developing a franchise business with the aim of driving store numbers up from seven to 20 by the end of next year.
The business, which was set up by Graham and Nicola Throup last year, sells British stalwarts including Weetabix, Twinings tea, Marmite, Tunnocks caramel wafers and Smash from stores in Brive, Aix en Provence, St Remy, Carcassonne, Confolens, Perigueux and Civray.
Five are company-owned, while two are owned by independent retailers and buy some stock from Best of British.
Goods are sourced from two main wholesalers and distributed from a warehouse in St Remy.
Although the format was designed to appeal to expats, almost 40% of the clientèle are French, claimed Nicola Throup. “Tea, marmalade and biscuits are particularly popular with the French, which really took us by surprise.”
An internet site enabling customers to order ambient products went live in May, she added. “Online sales are doing really well. However, the real focus now is on developing a franchise package. We have had a huge amount of interest.”