Central Convenience Stores - the c-store chain acquired by Palmer & Harvey in 2012 - has set its sights on operating up to 100 sites over the next few years.

P&H established the chain after buying three-store business WS Retail. It rebadged the stores under the Central fascia.

Writing in its accounts to 5 April 2014, P&H said it had 16 stores at the end of that financial year, including a petrol station. This has since increased to 26 stores, according to Central’s website.

“The business has grown over the past year principally by acquisition of independently run sites. Growth, however, has been restricted by availability of capital,” P&H said. “This strategy of growth by acquisition is set to continue at a faster pace, with funding now agreed with the banks. Further acquisition activity is anticipated over the next few years, with the managed store base moving to 80 to 100 stores.”

P&H has also launched a franchise offer for Central. “A franchise would provide growth with a lower cash input requirement,” it said.

Central’s directors include former McColl’s MD Steve Wilkinson and trading director Tony Start.