Palmer & Harvey’s (P&H) Central Convenience Stores chain has catapulted itself onto the Isle of Wight with the acquisition of Spar retailer Hunnyhill Stores Group for an undisclosed price.

The deal gives Central 12 outlets on the Isle of Wight and takes the total estate to 115.

The news comes as the business, which operates both company-owned stores and also franchises to independents in the South and South West, upgrades its expansion plans to achieve 300 convenience outlets in the next four years.

It plans to invest in the new stores it has acquired. Steve Wilkinson, Central managing director described the new outlets as “much loved” and he planned to “take things forward with their ethos very much in mind.

“Our aim is to provide an offering centred on the best national brands alongside locally source products suited to an individual location. Central Stores are open extended hours, seven days a week with the community’s needs at the centre of our thinking”, he said.

John Perrett, managing director of Hunnyhill Stores group said when choosing who to sell the business to, he wanted to find a company that would be able to offer its staff the opportunities for secure and rewarding employment and continue to provide customers with “good value and excellent service”.

“With Central, we know that we are leaving our stores in safe hands,” he added.

P&H acquired Central Convenience Stores in 2012, born out of its acquisition of three WS Retail stores which it rebranded.

It opened three new convenience stores in Devon in March – in Paignton, Chulmleigh and Newton Abbot. It followed this up in May with Bradford on Avon and Crewerne and in June with three in Weston Super Mare, Somerset and one in Ringwood, Dorset.

Prior to its sale to Central, 15-year-old Hunnyhill had planned expansion after Santander gave it £1m funding and it hoped to include more Post Office branches in its outlets.