Costcutter in bid to move upmarket

Costcutter Supermarkets is to test a new upmarket format in an effort to claw back market share from powerful brands such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which are entering the convenience sector.

Concepts will be tested on students at Warwick University in a new 5,500 sq ft store and will be rolled out to its 766 stores nationwide if successful.

The economy chain will offer more branded products and test innovations such as an off-licence counter called “Rhythm & Booze”, which is painted in psychedelic colours with flashing disco lights.

Costcutter corporate affairs director, Norman Walker, says the company is looking for a format change and will treat the student site as an opportunity to try out a “completely different Costcutter”.

Walker says: “We are looking at this as a test. If it is the right concept to go outside the university we will look at it for our bigger stores.”

The launch of Tesco Metro, Sainsbury’s Local and Safeway/BP forecourt stores has put pressure on the economy end of the convenience store market, traditionally served by independents such as Costcutter.

Costcutter is also in talks with York University about a campus store and hopes to launch the format at other student sites.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here