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Pavilion

Pavilion
Locations:up to 11
Introduced:1992
Removed:1995
Predecessors:Top Rank
Successors:Granada
Pavilion's colour scheme lives on at Aust.

Pavilion, formed by Michael Guthrie (former CEO of Mecca until it was bought by Rank), bought the service areas formerly owned by Rank.

The new company said they wanted to create a "holiday atmosphere". They had bright green branding inside, and areas called 'STORE' and 'Pavilion Restaurant'.

Curiously, of the 11 services they owned, 5 had their names changed. Its not clear whether this was Pavilion's strategy to improve their reputation.

Investment

Commenting on the deregulation of service station planning in 1992, Pavilion wrote off the idea of a sudden wave of new services, saying "no one is going to take that sort of investment decision lightly". However, by 1995 it was estimated they had 24 pending planning applications.

In a separate move, Michael Guthrie purchased his former brands Pizzaland and Prima Pasta. This allowed him to introduce Pizzaland to Pavilion services, alongside Burger King, making Pavilion one of the first operators to embrace high street branding. Guthrie described his vision of Pavilion services as being a "continental-style eating emporia".

Demise

By 1995 the cost of planning new and refurbished services had hit them hard and all of their services were bought by Granada, who took the ideas further and chased up some of their proposed services.

They began to look for a buyer just a year after forming, with all four operators at the time expanding rapidly, they feared they could be about to be squeezed out of the competitive market.

As part of the takeover, Granada agreed to sell their Magor and Pavilion's Bolton West and Severn View.

The move, for the first time, knocked Welcome Break to second position as the UK's largest MSA operator. They said that they had considered buying Pavilion but backed off because they didn't want to be investigated by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Only a few months later, Granada bought Welcome Break and consequently featured in a lengthy investigation by the Commission, who told Granada to sell off many sites.

Pavilion also inherited two smaller services on the A1 and A55 which were scaled down and sold off to Trusthouse Forte.

Locations

The following services were owned by Pavilion: