Independent retail group Haldanes is making its first foray into the convenience sector.

The company, formed in 2010 after buying a number of former Somerfield stores, has acquired a forecourt and convenience store with post office, which will both trade under the new Haldanes Xpress fascia.

Chief executive officer Arthur Harris said the company, which currently operates 23 mid-sized supermarkets under the Haldanes brand, was "excited" by the move. It was currently in the middle of advanced discussions to acquire a further eight convenience stores across the country, he added.

News of its push into convenience came as Haldanes revealed it was to launch a new mid-sized discount supermarket chain called Ugo after acquiring 20 Netto stores from Asda. The stores, which will feature a distinctive yellow and black fascia, similar to Netto, will be value focused, but still allow customers do a full weekly shop.

The store's core range of branded traditional grocery lines would be more than doubled and home deliveries would be introduced, Harris added.

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