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James claims first indie Budgens

01 September, 2003
Independent petrol retailer has acquired the first Budgens supermarket for independent operation
Page 4 
The first Budgens Corporate Store to operate independently has been bought by forecourt entrepreneur Jonathan James.
The Lakeside Group member, who currently operates three forecourts in Cambridgeshire with wife Rebecca, will take ownership of the 7,500sq ft supermarket in Soham on September 9.Jonathan entered into discussions with Budgens about a possible acquisition following a number of visits to independently-run supermarkets in Northern Ireland. “I’ve got two successful Budgens Local forecourts and have lived in Soham all my life so I approached Budgens to see if they would be interested in turning the supermarket into a Budgens Local and selling it to me,” he said.Jonathan has high expectations for the store – turnover is targeted to increase by 30 per cent in the first 12 months.Budgens chief executive Martin Hyson said: “I believe they will be as successful in Soham as they have at Ely and Chatteris.”Jonathan has a number of plans for his new venture. “The key things will be to increase availability of product and improve customer service,” he said. “And an ongoing project is to bed the supermarket into the community using my local contacts.“We have a large local radio advertising campaign starting on September 10 and we plan to sponsor local events,” he adds.Jonathan’s site in Ely has also just attracted prime time TV coverage, thanks to the installation of a £11,000 dog wash.