The company behind the UK's only fully functioning online buying group,, has extended its reach with the acquisition of Scottish buying group Newspower.

Patrick Walkington, managing director of Gainsmore, which acquired the group, told C-Store that Newspower's 100 members would now be "even better off" thanks to the terms the combined groups would achieve. He added that they would also benefit from the "state-of-the-art" online system which allows time- strapped independents to access statement information when it best suits them. Members can query an invoice, request paperwork and invite suppliers to contact them, without having to wait for an office to open. They can also access bespoke promotions and bonus payments.

Independents were responding well to the site, with six new members signing up a month, bringing its membership to 1,000, Walkington added. It was proving particularly popular in South Wales, where Gainsmore's headquarters are sited, he added.

"Clearly, the notion of a buying group is alive and well, and when combined with a convenient online system it's becoming increasingly attractive," he added.