The OFT has cleared the merger of 800 Mace, Your Store and Supershop stores into Costcutter, following its partnership with Palmer & Harvey.

Costcutter chief executive Darcy Willson-Rymer said the move was “great news” for the group and its member retailers.

“By necessity, the OFT investigation has delayed the Mace, Supershop and Your Store brands moving across to Costcutter.

“We will now press ahead at pace, so that they are taking advantage of our market-leading retail service and support as soon as possible.

“This decision also enables us to finalise arrangements regarding our new buy and supply system which will be implemented across Costcutter Supermarkets Group in mid-2014,” he added.

While the two companies had agreed to operate Mace and Costcutter separately until the OFT had completed its investigation, the authorities had already consented to amend the Initial Undertakings so that Mace retailers could be invited to Costcutter’s annual exhibition taking place on September 17.

“We hope as many of the Mace, Supershop and Your Store retailers will be able to join us,” Willson-Rymer added. “The event will be an excellent opportunity for them to meet with other Costcutter Supermarkets Group members and key suppliers.”