Palmer & Harvey has set out ambitious recruitment plans for 2012. The wholesaler aims to attract at least 250 new stores to its Mace fascia through its latest recruitment initiative.

The ‘Not Just a Pretty Fascia’ campaign aims to show retailers how to get the most from their business while offering the support of a symbol group.

Last year the group added 160 stores to its estate, and Palmer & Harvey marketing director Richard Hayhoe said its 250 target for this year was reasonable. “Given the current economic climate, I believe 250 new Mace stores is a realistic objective,” he said. “Mace was the fastest growing symbol group in the UK in 2011 and we’re aiming to replicate that this year.”

Hayhoe added that 2012 would be a good year for the sector. “A good convenience offering can compete on the same level as the multiples as well as offering the service and attention that they just can’t provide,” he said.

The group will also be extending its own-brand M range. The first wave will include more than 100 products from March. A further 80 will be made available later this year.