Sandpiper CI, owner of Morrisons Daily, Checkers and Iceland in Guernsey, is to acquire all three Le Cocqs shops in Alderney.
Sandpiper previously owned Jean’s Stores on Braye Street and has long been keen to make a return to Alderney.
Now they have reached an agreement with Noel Hayes to acquire the freezer centre at the Cutting, the Le Huret shop and Arkwrights in Victoria Street.
Tony O’Neill, Sandpiper CI’s Executive Chairman, said all three shops would stay open, as would the 20-strong staff.
”We are delighted to expand our retail estate back into Alderney. We had a small presence on the Island some years ago and we’ve been waiting for an opportunity to invest more significantly. Le Cocq’s stores have successfully served Alderney in one form or another for decades and we’re looking forward to investing and building on that success over the coming years.’
When Sandpiper CI ran Jeans Stores it had an Iceland range that quickly sold out after each boat delivery. But their attempt to expand that offer to an Iceland Store and Wine Warehouse fell away when they failed to persuade the States to make required changes to the licensing laws.
Retail Managing Director Mike Rutter said there were currently no plans to rebrand any of the stores into an Iceland or a Morrisons.
But Sandpiper’s access to those brands may provide customers with a ‘step up’ in terms of choice.
‘Sandpiper CI has got a lot of connections with UK retailers and we understand the Channel Islands. So ultimately it’s a good fit. We’ll take time to understand the Alderney business and listen to customers and we’re not coming in with any preconceived ideas.
‘Customers may see Morrisons and Iceland products in the stores but we have not made any decisions about what the right answer is. We do have very strong relationships with these businesses and may be able to offer a step up in terms of choice.’
The deal is expected to be finalised in three to four weeks for an October start for the new owners.