Booker is to launch a discount symbol group under the Family Shopper fascia.

A trial has already been successfully completed, with the new group ready for launch “in the next few weeks”, according to Booker.

The trial store has been in operation since November. The 2,100 sq ft outlet stocks only 1,100 lines, a mix of brands and own-brand, including 500 non food lines priced at £1. Around 75% are on promotion in some way, either pricemarked, round priced or on a deal.  Products are merchandised in their shipping trays to keep costs down.

The store has only four suppliers, and 90% of goods come from Booker or its drop shipment partners. The range, price file and epos system are all centrally managed by Booker.

Former P&H executive Richard Hayhoe has been recruited to run the Family Shopper operation at Booker.

Retail sales director Steve Fox told delegates at this week’s IGD symbol summit that he spent many months researching the discounter marketplace before launching the symbol model.

“We think there is a real opportunity to do a discount format in the independent sector,” he said. “You look at Aldi and Lidl and the growth they are achieving and their record market share, and ask: why can’t we have some of that growth in the independent sector?”