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18 November 2019 | Retail Mortgages

Experienced Retailer Returns to his Roots in Powys

Specialist commercial broker, Christie Finance has secured funding for the leasehold purchase of Knighton Costcutter in Powys, on behalf of highly experienced operator John Ewens. Having previously managed the store during the mid-noughties, the transaction marks Mr Ewens’ first return to the store as an owner operator over a decade later.

Mr Ewens has accrued a wealth of experience in the retail sector, having spent most of his career building and operating chains of convenience stores. His deep understanding of the local market and their requirements for the store will assist him in effectively managing and driving business growth.

With the funding secured by Christie Finance, Mr Ewens plans to invest in the shop and refurbish the premises to increase trade and re-establish the store within the community. The refurbishment will include exterior redecoration and up to date branding, with a replacement of the aging equipment and full re-fit.

The Knighton Costcutter is centrally located in the market town of Knighton, Powys, a rural setting near tourist attractions such as Offa’s Dyke and the Shropshire Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However, fresh stock and produce in the area is limited, therefore Mr Ewens is planning to increase this offering by introducing locally sourced items and fresh bakery goods.

Mr Ewens comments, “When I was introduced to Lawrence Roberts at the National Convenience Show by Stephen Bell at Christie & Co, I was in the process of considering purchasing the lease interest in the Powys store, which I operated back in the mid noughties. Due to certain reasons I was apprehensive and not sure of the options I had available to me, as I needed some funding to ensure I had enough to purchase the store, stock and more importantly ensure there was sufficient funding to refit the store, as refrigeration was tired, inadequate and in need of replacement.

“Following the show, Lawrence and I met up to discuss my plans and see if this purchase was feasible, and Lawrence went on to propose my request for funding to his lender network. I was very happy to receive confirmation that he had found a funder that could support me. As I required non-high street lending, it was important to find a challenger lender that could understand my history, experience and passion to succeed, which Lawrence did. 

“I first believed that this process would be a struggle, however Lawrence assisted me every step of the way, even up to the last point in which he introduced me to Ed Farthing at Christie Insurance so that I had the correct cover in place to protect the business, my staff and my customers. I would recommend Lawrence to any retailer looking to purchase a store, even if they think that obtaining funding would be challenging.”

Lawrence Roberts, Finance Consultant at Christie Finance who sourced the funding comments, “After meeting John at the NCS show, I knew that I wanted to work with him to help him purchase the store in which he had fond memories. When we met up to discuss funding options, I could tell that John was apprehensive and unsure of his options, so I quickly reassured him by explaining our process and lender network.

“This was a great deal for the Christie Network; an introduction from Christie & Co resulted in both Christie Finance and Christie Insurance being able to secure the funding and insurance John required to get back to Knighton Costcutter.

“I wish John and the team all the best and look forward to catching up in the near future.”