Appleby Westward, the Spar distributor for the south west of England, is to take over the Gillett’s (Callington) convenience store chain.

The deal is expected to complete in early July. Gillett’s is a family-owned business operating 63 Spar stores across Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire, with an annual retail turnover of £65m (excluding VAT and services). Last month managing director Mark Gillett passed away after a long illness.

Appleby Westward plans to operate all of the sites as company-owned stores. The wholesaler currently services over 300 Spar stores but is the only UK Spar operator without a sizeable company-owned store division. In 2014 Spar South Africa acquired 80% of AW’s parent company BWG promising tens of millions of pounds to be invested in expanding its convenience operations.

Mike Boardman, managing director of Appleby Westward, said: “We are delighted at the prospect of acquiring this very robust family business with its excellent platform of very well-run Spar stores, and the acquisition will ensure continuity of supply for Appleby Westward to those stores.”

Alan Cookson, director of Gillett’s (Callington), added: “This is a very good deal for both parties and means it’s very much business as usual for everyone. We have worked successfully in partnership with Appleby Westward since our business was founded 32 years ago and we are especially delighted that the stores are to remain part of the Spar network.”