Former Dundee United chairman launches new retail chain with promise of 500 jobs

Some 500 retail jobs are expected to be created across central Scotland after a new convenience store chain opened the doors of its first branch.

The outlet, in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, is the first branch of a new chain of Eddy’s Food Station stores, marking the newest venture from Stephen Thompson, former chief executive and co-founder of Morning, Noon & Night.

The Alloa outlet, which is creating 14 jobs, is the first of 30 proposed convenience stores, with a further 500 roles being created across central Scotland over the next five years. The ambitious plans come after the recent news of the collapse and subsequent rescue of newsagent and convenience chain McColl’s.

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Already well known within the retail industry Thompson is the son of, and worked alongside, Eddie Thompson, co-founder of convenience store chain Morning, Noon & Night. One of the most significant retail deals in Scotland saw the chain of 50 stores sold for £30 million in 2004.

The launch of Eddy’s Food Station marks Stephen’s return to retail following his role as chairman of Dundee United FC from 2008 to 2018.

He said: “This venture is an extremely exciting first leg of a long journey for Eddy’s Food Station.

“The retail industry is an industry I know and love. It’s an avenue I’ve always wanted to return to and I couldn’t be happier that it’s finally happening.

“We’re investing heavily in resources and research into our offering and services at each Eddy’s Food Station.

Stephen Thompson has opened the first Eddy’s Food Station in Alloa. Picture: Stewart Attwood

“We’re passionate about giving our customers an unrivalled, superior experience and are taking this opportunity to shake up the market, creating a space that combines convenience and quality that goes above and beyond customer expectations.”

He added: “Our employees are fully equipped with information and positivity, implementing an environment that will give customers the best possible experience and create a sense of community.”

John Richardson, head of food service at Eddy’s Food Station, said: “Eddy’s Food Station stores aim is to surpass customers’ expectations from their local shop, as the offering goes far beyond basic, day-to-day supplies.

“In addition to a wide range of groceries our point of difference will be a high-quality, Scottish, daily takeaway menu of hot and cold fresh foods, from filled rolls, to hot pizza slices, there are options for every meal.”

The firm said it would be partnering with a number of Scottish food wholesalers.

John Lee, head of public affairs at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, said: “The development of a new group of convenience stores is an indication of how strong the convenience sector is and how popular the convenience channel is with customers.

“This is a very impressive level of investment which will create significant new jobs and provide valuable services to our communities. We wish Eddy’s Food Station every success.”

Thompson added: “The name Eddy’s Food Station is a nod to my father and his successes in the industry. I’m thrilled to be following in his footsteps with this new venture and look forward to embracing the journey ahead as the Eddy’s Food Station network grows.

“We will continue to scope out further sites for future stores in more central and convenient locations.”

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