|Headquarters||Harefield, Greater London, England|
|Area served||England and Wales|
|Parent||Musgrave Group (2002–present)|
Budgens Stores Ltd (branded as Budgens) is a chain of foodstores in the United Kingdom. The business was founded in 1872 by John Budgen, who opened the first store at Maidenhead, Berkshire. The business was incorporated as a private limited company on 28 May 1962. The company is a subsidiary of Musgrave Retail Partners GB.
The first Budgens store was opened in 1872, by John Budgen. The first stores were small local grocers, which expanded across the south of England.
In October 1997, Budgens acquired the 55 store UK network of 7-11 stores, re-branding them with the concept name 'B2'. Very soon afterwards it was clear that the name was not popular with customers and the 30 stores that were outside London began trading under the 'Budgens' fascia. The 'B2' branded stores in London were then changed to 'Budgens Express' before finally reverting to the 'Budgens' brand.
In 2002, the company was purchased by the Irish Musgrave Group. Two years later, they started selling their Budgens stores; the largest stores were disposed of on the open market with stores in places including Tadley and Mildenhall to larger store chains. Other stores were divested to independent retailers including Jempsons and Tout and CT Baker who continue to trade from them under the 'Budgens' name. Musgraves also franchised the Budgens brand, leading to more store openings in the independent sector and expanding the brand to many forecourt stores.
In 2007, the divestment of the original Budgens stores to independent retailers was completed, but as of March 2009[update] a few Budgens stores whose franchise-holders had failed to perform had been returned to Musgrave. A further eight stores were bought in 2009 from the Co-op (who had acquired them on taking over the Somerfield group but were instructed to dispose of them by the Office of Fair Trading). Once these new stores have been re-fitted and stocked as Budgens stores they will be divested.
The stores range in size from around 140m² to around 900m², and therefore fall into the convenience store size range and the bottom end of the supermarket size range, as these two terms are used in the UK. According to retail analysts TNS Worldpanel, Budgens ranked 13th in the UK grocery sector in December 2004, with a market share of 0.4%.
Currently, there is no record that documents the history of this company's corporate identity, both on the official Budgens website or anywhere else on the internet. As the supermarket concept developed in the UK in the 1950s, so did the concept of strong branding which became more uniform in its appearance: colourful, eye-catching and distinctive. Budgens adopted a strong corporate identity during the 1960s which incorporated orange as the base colour, very popular at the time. The stores at this time were branded simply as 'Budgen', a progression from 'Budgen & Co. Ltd.', without the 's' as the end, in a unique white font on the orange background. The omission of the 's' at the end of the company name was common with other well-known stores at this time too; Woolworths was simply 'Woolworth', and Sainsbury's was 'J Sainsbury', reflecting the literal use of the founder's name as a corporate identity.
A distinctive logo was also used for the 'Budgen' branding, which incorporated a tulip (symbolising freshness) depicted in orange and white on a brown rounded square background. The use of logos by supermarket chains was very popular from the 1960s-1980s. The orange 'Budgen' corporate identity was used between 1968 (approx.) and 1989, with a variation of the format used during the 1980s. The term 'supermarket' was also depicted alongside the Budgen identity in black lower-case lettering on a white background on larger stores during the early period of this corporate identity, from circa 1968-1975. Other supermarket chains also had 'supermarket' displayed after their identity during this time, as this term was new to the public.
In 1989 Budgen was rebranded 'Budgens' after 20 years of the previous branding. The orange gave way to a white background, the tulip logo disappeared and the font was changed to a handwriting-style scribble, in orange, underlined in green. Again, there is as yet no record of this identity either, which was used until circa 1997-1998, when the identity was changed again, this time dark green with 'Budgens' in white capital letters. This itself has evolved into a lighter two-tone green background with 'Budgens' now depicted in a lower case font.
- ‘Supermarkets’, Competition Commission report presented to Parliament in October 2000, chapter 5, page 72
- "Budgens rebrands b2 stores". Marketing Week.
- Musgrave group press release accessed 20 March 2009
- "MUSGRAVE TO BUY SOMERFIELD STORES TO INCREASE BUDGENS CHAIN". Budgens. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- "Budgens Award Winners". Budgens. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- "2012 Winners". Retail Industry Awards. Metropolis Business Media. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
9.Photographic reference of 1969-1989 'Budgen' corporate identity: http://www.photosoftadley.co.uk/main.php?g2_itemId=1261
10.Photographic reference of early 1969 'Budgen Supermarket' corporate identity, - 2 Hitchin Street, Biggleswade, 1 January 1970: http://www.historypin.com/attach/uid81/map/#!/geo:52.086119,-0.265336/zoom:15/dialog:9162/tab:details/