Channel Island potential
Seeing a gap in the food retail market in Jersey, Andrew Bagot seized the opportunity to expand his Guernsey business, Alliance, pan-island. By partnering with Tesco, the move has paid off and he’s thoroughly enjoying life in Jersey:
“I started Alliance ten years ago in Guernsey, and from humble beginnings too. Back then it was essentially a cash and carry type business operating from an out-of-town site, but over time it has evolved into more of a retail supermarket business to compete with existing rivals in the market. It’s incredibly rewarding to have seen it develop into a strong pan-island operation.
We had real success in Guernsey, trebling our turnover, and there was clearly a market for what we were doing. Confidence instilled, we knew we wanted to grow even further. Seeing that the retail market was changing rapidly, we saw an opportunity in Jersey and felt we had a proposition that would work well here and meet customer expectations.
We struck up a partnership with Tesco as our supply chain in 2014 and then moved to Jersey the same year. It was a rapid evolution, but the opportunity was too good to miss - we were able to draw on a familiar brand and place ourselves in a very central site in St. Helier".
"It's is a healthy, busy town with a frequent shopper culture, and the Island has a growing population, so it was definitely the right decision to move.”
A seamless process
As well as expanding the business to Jersey, Andrew felt it was time for a change for his family too and so they all moved over and seeking the assistance of Locate Jersey really smoothed out the process for them:
“The move was relatively painless and Locate Jersey were brilliant from start to finish. In this line of work, we always anticipated that staff permissions would take some time to obtain, but the overall experience has been seamless and we were up and running very quickly indeed".
"We’ve been very lucky in finding some fantastic people in Jersey to come and work for us too, who have undoubtably been fundamental to our success.
I’ve been in Jersey with my family now for almost a year and a half and already feel at home. We felt that to make the Jersey expansion a success, I really needed to be here and close to the operation, our people and our customers".
The right decision
"So far, it’s definitely been the right decision, both from a business perspective and personally. Moving with family is always tricky, but the kids have adapted really well to their new environment and we all love the lifestyle here. It’s very easy for me to travel between the islands and I do so frequently.”
Alliance opened their first store in 2014 and have expanded with additional sites in St Helier and their first out of town site, doubling their business in the last 2 years alone.
"Looking forward, we want to grow further in the islands, and are constantly looking at new premises and opportunities. We’ve got real confidence in our expansion strategy into Jersey and by investing where it matters and scaling our business accordingly, we’re very positive about the future and our ability to continue to bring down prices for islanders.”
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