The future is looking clearer for independent Mace stores in Scotland, with Spar announcing that a total of 25 have signed up to its fascia since the closure of Aberness Foods in May.

The outlets will be supplied by Spar wholesaler in Scotland CJ Lang and Son, which has said all 25 stores will be up and running under the Spar name by July 18.

“This is a fantastic result for Spar,” said CJ Lang’s chief executive David Walker. “I welcome all the new retailers, many of whom are among the best independents in Scotland. I can assure them that Spar is totally committed to the continued growth and prosperity of their business.”

The defections to Spar started after independent c-store owners expressed concerns that Somerfield, which had taken over the Mace wholesale business, was overlooking their particular needs, and because they were frustrated by all the uncertainty. Somerfield has since sold the Mace wholesale business to Palmer & Harvey McLane (P&H), which announced two weeks ago that it had retained around 60% of the independent Scottish Mace retailers.