Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward is to open its fourth company owned store in late March.

The group set up its own stores division last year after purchasing three Somerfield sites, all now trading as Eurospar. The latest store, a former Woolworths outlet in the Dorset town of Bridport, will be the first in the chain to operate under the Spar convenience fascia.

The 3,000sq ft store is currently being refurbished to incorporate chilled meat and alcohol, a fresh fruit and vegetable island and a food-to-go section using Country Choice's Boston's brand, including seating and a breakfast bar area at the front of the shop.

Appleby Westward managing director John Pattison told C-Store: "Although Bridport will trade as Spar, it will contain a lot of the features we have been developing with our Eurospar outlets. We want to add to our store numbers and, while we don't want to be competing in the property market with our independent retail customers, we are looking at possibly acquiring 10 sites within five years, depending on the opportunities."

The Bridport unit is expected to open in time for Easter.