Case Study

Independent Retail Location Expansion

Company —
Independent Retailer
Business Type —
Grocery Store and Market
Requirement —
Retail Finance
Solution —
Lease Finance

Independent Retailer Secures New Location & Fit-out with Finance

The Expansion Decision

A longtime independent retailer recognised an opportunity to expand to a larger and more lucrative location. However, the cost of relocating, fitting out the new property with shelving and refrigeration units, and restocking inventory was substantial and beyond their current financial capacity.

Challenges Faced

  1. Capital for Relocation: Relocating to a larger property required a significant upfront investment, including the rental deposit, interior fit-out, and utility connections. Necessary capital to fund this expansion independently put pressure on existing business funds.

  2. Inventory Restocking: Moving to a larger space meant expanding their product offerings, which required a substantial investment in restocking inventory and investing in shelves and refrigeration units.

  3. Cash Flow Constraints: As a small business, maintaining day-to-day operations while simultaneously funding a major expansion posed a challenge.

Solution – Leveraging Finance

To overcome these challenges and seize the growth opportunity, they turned to Portman. Together, they crafted a tailored retail finance plan to facilitate the expansion:

  1. Retail Inventory Finance: This finance option allowed them to borrow funds specifically for restocking inventory. It provided the flexibility to purchase products from their suppliers promptly, ensuring a fully stocked store upon the grand opening.

  2. Fit-out finance: Portman also provided an asset finance solution to cover the costs of fitting out the new property with shelving and financing refrigeration units. This option enabled them to spread the expenditure over a manageable repayment period.

  3. Flexible Repayment Terms: Recognising the seasonal nature of the grocery business, Portman offered flexible repayment terms that aligned with this retail business’s cash flow patterns. This reduced the strain on their finances during periods of slower business activity.

Benefits Realised

  1. Expanded Customer Base: The new, larger location allowed this business to attract a more extensive customer base from neighbouring areas. With a wider range of products, they catered to diverse tastes and preferences, enhancing customer satisfaction.
  2. Enhanced Shopping Experience: The fit-out of the new store with modern shelving and refrigeration units provided a more organised and visually appealing shopping environment. This elevated shopping experience resulted in increased foot traffic and customer retention.
  3. Increased Revenue: The combination of a broader product range, improved store layout, and strategic marketing efforts led to a significant increase in revenue for this business. The expansion opened doors to higher profitability.

Challenges overcome

  1. Financial Capacity: By utilising finance for independent retailers the business was able to access the necessary funds to cover relocation, fit-out, and inventory restocking costs. This eased the financial burden of the expansion.

  2. Cash Flow Management: Flexible repayment terms provided by Portman helped manage cash flow fluctuations effectively. They could comfortably meet loan repayments without compromising their daily operations.
  3. Competitive Edge: With a well-stocked store and a modern shopping environment, they gained a competitive edge over other small local grocery stores and compete with larger brand retailers


Through strategic finance support from Portman, the retailer successfully expanded its business to a larger and more lucrative location. The relocation, finance for shelving and inventory restocking were made possible with tailored solutions that addressed their specific needs.

If you are in need of any retail finance such as; retail fit out need, refrigeration equipment, air conditioning equipment, or are considering a franchise business purchase and flexible payment options are key in your business plan, Portman could be the finance company for you.

Partner with Portman, for a successful future

There are plenty of finance options out there for you, deciding which is right for you will take time and consideration. But why should you choose these financing options from Portman?

At Portman Finance Group we are focused on serving the needs of you and your businesses, and have been doing so for thousands of other businesses since 2007, raising over £1 billion in funding for UK SMEs. 

We take the time to truly understand your business and what you need, ensuring we secure the right funding for you. As both a broker and a lender, we can also offer financial options that others cannot. We promise you will have one point of contact from start to end, providing you solutions quickly, sometimes within hours.


Hire Purchase

Hire purchase usually involves paying the VAT and a deposit up-front. Fixed monthly repayments are then made, affected by whether you pay off the entire loan over the term or chose a final balloon payment. The final option to purchase is guaranteed for a nominal fee, transferring ownership of the asset to the customer.

Hire purchase is well-suited for situations where a company definitely wants to own the item at the end of the term, often where the asset has a significant usable lifespan, a high residual value and will not need to be upgraded.

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Lease Finance

Equipment leasing allows a business to acquire hard or soft assets without the upfront costs associated with large purchases. A lender purchases the item, the business then leases it through fixed monthly payments over an agreed term.

Typically, asset finance is provided for high value ‘hard’ assets such as machinery, equipment, or vehicles, but Portman also arranges asset finance for ‘soft’ assets such as IT, fitness, catering, or vending equipment, as well as premises fit-outs, furniture or even air-conditioning.

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Business Loans

Business loans are a way of borrowing money, which is repaid in monthly instalments, including interest, over an agreed term. Business loans are a common way to help smooth out cashflow fluctuations and take opportunities where otherwise they could be missed due to a lack of working capital.

Business loans can be secured or unsecured. Portman typically provides unsecured loans which can be more flexible and do not require collateral but are likely to require a personal guarantee. Secured loans are tied to an asset which the lender can claim ownership of if repayments are not made, these may be used in equipment refinance deals.

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Start Up Loans

New businesses often need an injection of finance to get them off the ground. Asset finance for new businesses allows you to focus on running your company and bringing in customers, confident that you have the equipment, vehicle or stock you need without the large initial outlay.

Using finance for your equipment means that you preserve the credit card or overdraft for contingency and operating expenses when the unexpected happens.

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Equipment Refinance

If you recently bought a high-value item outright but would now prefer to have financed it, we can help with a sale-and-lease-back agreement. If the item is less than 3m old, give us a copy of the invoice and we will calculate the current value. After a few checks and acceptance of the term and monthly repayments, we can give you the cash equivalent of the invoice to put back into the business. You’ll then make fixed monthly payments including interest, whilst your asset earns you money.

If your business owns high value assets that are not currently on finance, subject to a valuation, it is also possible to use them as security for a loan, with lenders offering a cash loan up to a % of the asset’s value.

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Recovery Loans

Recovery Loans offer an excellent way of making sure your business gets back on its feet after the long-term effects of the pandemic and subsequent supply chain disruption. Businesses with turnovers up to £45m, including those who have previously benefited from the government’s CBILS, BBL or RLS, can apply.

Recovery Loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose or simply to provide cashflow. Rates are capped and the government continues to guarantee 70% of the outstanding balance, giving added security for lenders who are now able to consider finance for businesses who may have previously found it difficult to obtain.

Up to £2m can be borrowed on terms from 2 to 6 years. Your personal private residence cannot be taken as security.

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