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    Sainsbury Buys C-store Operator

    LONDON - J Sainsbury Plc yesterday acquired JB Beaumont, Ltd., a long-established neighborhood convenience store operator with six stores in the East Midlands.

    LONDON - J Sainsbury Plc yesterday acquired JB Beaumont, Ltd., a long-established neighborhood convenience store operator with six stores in the East Midlands.

    The stores, which range in size from 2,220 square feet to 5,100 square feet, brought in £13 million (U.S. $24.8 million) for the fiscal year ended May 29. JB Beaumont has been owned and run by the Beaumont family and one nonfamily member, and is currently No. 48 in the Grocer Top 50.

    The acquisition, following Sainsbury's purchase of Bells Stores in February and Jacksons in August, underlines the retailer's commitment to grow its convenience business by £400 million (U.S. $764 million) by 2007-2008. Sainsbury currently has 260 units in its convenience store portfolio, accounting for just over 2 percent of the c-store market.

    The six stores bought from the Beaumonts will operate as a separate business unit. Sainsbury will retain the current management team, led by Louise Beaumont, as well as all 193 JB Beaumont staff members. The two retailers will work together to combine Beaumont's strong local expertise and fresh offering with Sainsbury's knowledge of convenience foods.

    Jim McCarthy, managing director of convenience at Sainsbury's, said in a statement that the purchase will "increase our presence in the East Midlands. They have quality stores in good locations, and it fits perfectly with our new strategy to grow our portfolio of neighborhood convenience stores."

    Said Louise Beaumont, managing director of JB Beaumont, "This deal will enable us to continue to grow our business, enhance our customer offer, and preserve our local identity."


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