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Fraser’s Retail was founded in 1954 by Bob Fraser, who’s first site was in a small village in south Oxfordshire. It was actually the first forecourt in the UK to sell hot food, something of which is taken for granted today! Bob’s focus was being a community store, servicing the local area meaning customer service was paramount, something which is not forgotten in the present day and is why customers will always receive a warm welcome in the stores. When Bob retired from the business his two sons, Hugh and Robert took it to new heights, recognising that convenience was key in building the business. This mantra has now been taken on by Nick & Jonathan (Robert & Hugh’s sons), though Hugh & Robert are still actively involved in the business and you’ll see them at the sites from time to time.
The group now operates 5 state of the art BP forecourts, all with Budgens convenience stores. Brize Norton, Marlborough and Yarnton also have Subway franchises within them and at Yarnton there is a very successful Post Office (which was retained on redevelopment). This is in stark contrast to so many stores that have had this community offer removed on acquisition and development. The decision to remain independent retailers has proved to be vital in the companies continued success. This allows them to put customers first at all times.
Fraser’s Retail know how important it is to become a part of the community, employing local people, working with the local authorities, building relationships with local charities and the local schools, sponsoring the local football teams, amongst a host of initiatives aimed at creating a harmonious relationship with the communities surrounding the stores and giving back to the areas serviced. As a locally-owned store, it is important to help create a vibrant local economy by supporting small local producers. Fraser’s Budgens are proud to stock over 200 local products, many award-winning, which represent the best food and drink local areas have to offer.
The local economy and environment is very important to Fraser’s Budgens and it is why are various schemes within the stores to help mitigate the companies impact on the environment. Whether it be the solar on the roofs and canopies of the stores, the chiller doors or the boreholes that provide the valeting water through the business. All cardboard and plastic wrap gets recycled ensuring packaging waste is kept to a minimum. The stores also look to give back where we can and are involved in local foodbanks as well as the FareShare scheme which helps distribute food to those in most need. The stores also use a service called 2Good2Go which aims at reducing waste by giving people the chance of picking up a bag of goodies at the end of the day, rather than waste it. Fraser’s Budgens care about the environment and we will look to minimise our impact where we can.
Through the years Frasers Budgens have never strayed from their roots by embracing customer service in the stores. Today, technology and convenience are the key differentiators. Fraser’s Retail embodies all three of these criteria, which sets the company apart from its competitors. The Company remains true to its heritage, by continuing to invest and pioneer developments in information technology, forecourt equipment, car washes and particularly convenience stores. The customer comes first may be an old saying, but it’s never been truer. Fraser’s Retail aren’t afraid to invest in the business, whether it be on staff facilities, improvements to the services provided, and keeping the standards up through the stores. It’s important to the business to be proud of what it does and ensure the best shopping environment for customers.
Not only do customers recognise the value of Frasers Budgens but so do peers within the industry. The business is regularly nominated for awards, particularly at the Retail Industry Awards and the Forecourt Trader of the Year Awards (the petrol retail sector’s benchmark for forecourt excellence), with the business having won various awards through the years including Best Independent Convenience store at the Retail Industry and Best Forecourt at the Forecourt trader awards, as well as being nominated for the prestigious grocer Gold Award for best independent chain in 2016.
As Bob said, people are the greatest asset which is never truer than today and have created a family ethos in the business, which is highlighted by the management alone having a combined service of over 100 years. Whether it be a customer or an employee Fraser’s Retail strive to create the best environment they can, be it through the ever-improving facilities, the increased ranges in the stores, or just ensuring that the standards are kept at the highest they can be. Bob would be proud of what the business has become over the years, whilst remaining true to it’s roots and putting the customer first, always.
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