200 staff to change hands as £20m turnover business is sold
By Andrew Merrell | 18th January 2019
A member of the well-known Gloucestershire Warner family has sold his chain of county-based businesses to a major British brand.
The Midcounties Co-operative has agreed a deal - expected to complete this summer - to purchase four of the Cotswolds-based Warner's Budgens food stores.
According to the food store its acquisition of the Warner's Budgens businesses will "strengthen its presence in the Cotswolds and give greater access for its members to high quality food stores".
The four Warner's Budgens stores are in Bidford-on-Avon, Broadway, Moreton-in-Marsh and Winchcombe and are currently owned and operated by independent retailer Guy Warner.
Mr Warner, son of well-known county businessman and GFirst LEP member Mike Warner, will retain freehold ownership of the four properties.
"In the past 11 years we've developed four highly successful food stores, reaching a turnover of £20 million in 2017-18.
"Midcounties is an excellent fit for these stores as we have shared community values as well as a total commitment to supplying more locally-sourced food and drink products.
"Our staff will have greater opportunities in a larger organisation and our customers will benefit from the Co-op's extensive own brand range," said Mr Warner, whose businesses employ approximately 200 staff.
He added: "We are proud to serve shoppers in the Cotswolds and will continue to do so with our petrol forecourt businesses and new ventures."
Mr Warner, who opened his first supermarket in Broadway in 2006, said the sale to Midcounties Co-operative was a vote of confidence in the success of the Warner's Budgens brand which has just notched up its two best years of sales since its launch in 2006.
It also offers him the opportunity to invest in new sites and develop his existing petrol forecourt businesses where the Warner's Budgens brand will continue.
Phil Ponsonby, group CEO of The Midcounties Co-operative, said: "We'll be delighted to welcome the Warner's Budgens colleagues into our Midcounties family as they've an excellent reputation for great customer service and product knowledge and will be a valuable addition to the Society. The quality of the stores that Guy Warner has built up over a number of years now provides us with a fantastic base to build upon.
"This latest purchase will also help strengthen our relationships with local producers, allowing us to continue to develop and grow our Best of our Counties range of locally produced food and drink."
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