Booker is gearing up fora bumper year of recruitment thanks to its new Premier Express fascia, which it says is attracting a steady steam of retailers from rival symbol groups and independent backgrounds.

More than 136 retailers are currently signed up to the recently-launched format for stores under 800sq ft, and this number is expected to swell in 2010 as retailers look for better flexibility and pricing structures, Booker sales director for retail Steve Fox told C-Store.

"Premier Express offers small stores all the advantages of a symbol group while recognising the restrictions on space of stores less than 800sq ft," he said.

"Due to our consumer- driven ranging, we can tailor the choice of products to the exact profile of each store to ensure that shoppers have everything they need from a convenience store. We also offer a reduced promotional package of 15 lines which offers great value for shoppers and helps to drive footfall."