Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Former Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson follows in father Eddie’s footsteps by opening convenience stores

Former Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson outside the first Eddy's Food Station in Alloa.
Former Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson outside the first Eddy's Food Station in Alloa.

Former Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson is following in his father Eddie’s footsteps by starting a chain of convenience stores.

Eddie Thompson started Morning Noon & Night in 1991 with £100,000 of his own capital.

The success of the Broughty Ferry business helped him fund the purchase of Dundee United in 2002.

When the retail chain sold to Scotmid for £30 million in 2004, with Stephen at the helm, it had 50 shops and 800 staff.

Now, almost 20 years later, Stephen is making a dramatic entrance back into the Scottish convenience store market. The first Eddy’s Food Station opened in Alloa today.

Stephen Thompson plans rapid growth

Stephen said his five-year plan is for 30-40 stores and 500 staff.

In an exclusive interview with The Courier, he said: “I was there from day one with my dad at Morning Noon & Night.

“I ended up as CEO running the business after he bought United.

Stephen Thompson is returning to his convenience store roots.

“Going back into convenience stores is something I’ve been thinking about for the past two years.

“Technology has moved on but the basics haven’t changed – it’s about having the right standards and level of customer service.

“We’re looking at sites all over Scotland, including Tayside and Fife.

“It’s an ambitious plan but it doesn’t frighten me as I’ve been there before.”

Millions raised for Eddy’s Food Station

After Eddie Thompson’s death in 2008, Stephen succeeded him as Dundee United chairman.

This is his first major business venture since stepping down as chairman and selling his shareholding in Dundee United in 2018.

Eddy’s Food Station has raised millions of pounds from a financial institution and private investors. Stephen Thompson is the majority shareholder.

The business plan is a mixture of opening new stores and acquiring existing sites.

A second location could open in Fife within weeks.

Eddie Thompson’s influence on business

Stephen said the name is a “tip of the hat” to his father who will also influence how he runs the company.

“It’s a slightly different spelling of my dad’s name but I think everyone knows the connection there,” he said.

“My dad was a very good leader, good with people – he’d always make a cup of tea when someone came to visit.

Former-Dundee United chairman Eddie Thompson pictured in 2006.

“He taught me the importance of having proper control of a business and putting good systems in place.

“You sometimes don’t realise what you learn from your parents, particularly if you work together. He was hugely respected in the retail industry.

“I don’t really want to talk about football, but I’ve learned how not to do some things in business as well.”

Focus on business, not football

After leaving Dundee United, Mr Thompson spent most of 2019 in America. He was the first investor to put money into the National Independent Soccer Association league, owning a franchise in Connecticut.

However, he sold his interest before the league started and is now based in Dundee.

“Building this business requires 100% focus,” he said.

“Convenience stores have done well during the pandemic. We’re going heavy on the food to go side, which is a point of difference.

Ex-Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson.
Ex-Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson.

“We’re trying to take convenience stores onto the next level. We believe there’s an opportunity there.

“One thing we won’t be doing is putting in any self-serve checkouts. I think customers are railing against that.

“The customer is going to be our number one priority.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password?

[[title]]