South West Spar distributor Appleby Westward has announced its highest store recruitment figures on over five years.

The group has recruited 24 independent stores this year from a number of competitors, including four Co-op premises. It has also been integrating 32 Euro Garage forecourts throughout its territory under the Spar fascia.

“We have enjoyed tremendous success with new store recruitment this year, and are budgeting to bring in a further 24 stores in 2016,” said Nick Kenworthy, Appleby Westward’s sales director.

“The majority of new sites are neighbourhood locations, although we continue to experience success in appealing to fuel retailers as well, with six of our 24 stores coming from that market.”

He said Appleby’s “winning store format developments” such as at Callington (pictured) demonstrated to independent retailers that it has the right solution to meet the challenges in the convenience market.

The majority of the Euro Garages outlets are located in Hampshire and Dorset and will all be trading by the end of October. Some of the larger stores will include sub brands like Subway and Greggs, with all sites using Starbucks as the coffee solution.

Euro Garages is one of the UK’s largest privately-owned forecourt operators and, following the sell-off of sites by oil companies, is converting these forecourt shops to Spar stores.