Universities, army barracks, hospitals, high street sites and motorway service sites were all prime targets as well as coach/railway stations and airports, said Peter Keegans, head of specialist brands at Select Service Partner, Compass' retail and travel arm. Whistlestop was acquired by Compass in spring 2001, and is independently managed by SSP.
SSP intends the 30-strong chain will expand to break the 100-store barrier in the next three years, said Keegans. "We are looking at a variety of options, including a franchise model. Forecourts are also an opportunity."
Two university sites had been identified, said Keegans, and the first store on a military site operates at RAF Henlow.