BUILDING on the success of its own-store operations, Watson & Philip

is to cut its last links with Circle K and relaunch all 330 of its

outlets under the Alldays' brand name, writes COLIN McSEVENY.

The Dundee-based convenience store and food distribution company

bought the 200-strong Circle K chain from its American owner in February

last year for #21m. The name was kept as part of a licensing agreement

which has now run out.

''We are merely complying with legal requirements with this

announcement, and the real change will take place on September 15 when

the new name, logo design and store decoration will be unveiled,'' chief

executive David Bremner said yesterday.

Watson & Philip has already cut its long-standing links with Spar and

VG in order to put greater effort into building up its own stores, which

were proving more profitable than the independents it had previously


There are only a handful of Watson outlets currently under franchise

and the group intends to press on with its ambitious expansion scheme.

''The new name will give us a single brand strength we lacked

beforehand and, with the warm summer suiting our type of stores

perfectly, plans for opening new outlets are well advanced,'' he said.

Revenue from the stores now makes up about half the group's profit,

which rose by 26% to just over #5m for the six months to end-April.

Sales in the convenience stores rose by 65%, partly because of the

acquisitions, with a 2% like-for-like sales increase in established


Around 50 new outlets will be opened by the end of the year, and the

entire network is being kitted out with the latest electronic point of

sale (Epos) equipment.