Costcutter claims its total group store numbers have risen above 2,600 for the first time, following a net increase of 41 stores in the first quarter.

The number of Costcutter, Mace, Kwiksave, SuperShop and Simply Fresh stores now totals 2,625, including eight retailers joining from Nisa so far in 2015.

It says the overall store growth trend is predicted to continue throughout 2015, with a pipeline of new retailers actively considering joining the group.

Daniel Quest, retail director of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: “Having over 2,600 retailers in our Group is a pleasing milestone to cross. What is clear is that retailers understand the value we are able to bring due to the combined simplicity and strength of our offer.

“The simpler pricing, no membership fees and no order fees which we introduced in 2014 when we entered our partnership with P&H is obviously attractive. However, retailers are equally drawn by the value we can achieve through the £5bn buying power of Buyco, the strength of our range, and our compelling and flexible promotional programme.

”Retailers are also increasingly commenting on the attractiveness of our Independent own brand range.”

A number of Costcutter retailers complained of delivery problems when the partnership with P&H commenced last summer, but Peter Woods, of Costcutter Halstead in Essex, said deliveries had improved significantly.

”It’s much better than it was, we’re on about 95% at the moment, and if we miss something it’ll turn up the following day with the tri-temperature deliveries,” he said. “However, we get a few dips every three weeks with new promotions.”

Peter added that store turnover was averaging about £25-£26,000 a week, up from £21,000 in January, with sales during Easter week peaking at £32,000.