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Hampshire Co-op Welcome to become Spar under new ownership

Christie & Co has brokered the sale of Co-op Welcome-branded retail store in Gosport, Hampshire.

The store has been highly successful for many years under the ownership of local entrepreneur, Richard Dance. It benefits from an excellent location in the populated residential area of Elson on San Diego Road.

The sale was swift and undisruptive, with most customers unaware of the sales process until the day the sign changed. The store will continue to offer locals a wide range of groceries and household goods but will also be expanding the range of food to go, in particular hot food.

The buyers, Tony Start and Steve Wilkinson, are an experienced retail partnership who have built a number of large retail chains between them. This latest venture is a partnership with Appleby Westward and will trade as a Spar. It is likely to be the first of many new Spar stores opening across the South and Southwest regions.

The previous owner, Richard Dance who ran the store for over a decade made the decision to sell in order to focus on his other businesses. He commented, “Christie & Co did a fantastic job of marketing the business, keeping disruption to the bare minimum and driving the sale through in good time. I wish Tony and Steve all the best”.

Tom Glanvill, Senior Business Agent at Christie & Co who handled the sale, said, “I was very pleased to work with Richard to help transfer the business into new ownership. It is always good to see a successful business and hard-working staff continue on, even after the founder has moved on.

'The rebranding looks great and I am sure the business will flourish, once again showing convenience stores to be the shining light in the retail sector.”