Ascona Group Welcomes Retail Pioneer, Colin Graves, to the Board as a Non-Executive Director

April 10, 2024
David Lamb

Ascona Group (‘Ascona’), the 7th largest UK independent forecourt operator and one of the fastest growing companies in Wales for the last three years, is pleased to announce that Colin Graves has joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director, effective from 1st April 2024.

At the age of 21, Colin began his career in groceries at Spar, where he would go onto spend the next 16 years and finish his time at the business as a Sales Director. After gaining extensive experience at Spar, he founded Costcutter in 1986. This unique concept revolutionized the grocery sector through its innovative network of convenience stores that provided a platform for independent retailers to compete with larger supermarkets through collective buying and marketing.

Colin served as Chairman of the grocery group from its inception until 2012. During his tenure, he played a pivotal role in the expansion of the Group, from one store in 1986 to over 1,700 in 2012, as it evolved into a beloved British brand with operations across the country.

For the last six years, Colin has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Nisa, a key partner of Ascona Group. In keeping with Ascona’s strategy to develop the next evolution of roadside retail destinations with first-rate convenience stores, Mr Graves will play an invaluable role supporting the Executive team to realise its strategic ambitions.

Darren Briggs, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ascona Group, commented:

“We are thrilled to welcome Colin to the Ascona family. His unparalleled expertise in the convenience retail sector and visionary leadership are exactly what we need to help us execute our strategic ambitions.

“As a fellow founder of a business, Colin's track record of success at Costcutter speaks for itself, and we are confident that his insights will be invaluable to us all as we continue to innovate and expand our world-class operations across the country."

Colin Graves added:

“I am very excited to be joining Ascona, a business I have admired for a long time and watched closely as it has grown. The business commitment to delivering quality, value and convenience to road users and communities across the country resonate with my own values and I look forward to working with Darren and the team on the next phase of its story.”

David Lamb

35 years experience in retail management, marketing, I.T and design

About us

In an ever-changing retail world, Ascona Group aims to bring right-on-time convenience, service and quality to motorists and communities. Forecourts have a new champion.