Colin Graves founded Costcutter in 1978 as a rival to the Spar convenience-store franchise, where he had worked for 17 years. He quickly bought seven former Spar franchises in York. Word about Costcutter spread quickly from there.
Today Costcutter has a franchise network of 1,200 stores in the UK, 65 in Ireland and 52 in Poland. The central group takes fees worth just 1% of sales of the shops. Profits have grown 46% a year, from £1.7m in 1999 to £5.3m in 2002.
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