Spar increased its store count by 185 between May and October 2015, taking its total to 2,578.

The 8% increase in store numbers in just six months was due to a number of factors, including existing Spar retailers increasing their store portfolio, new retailers joining the symbol group, company store numbers growing, and the addition of a large number of stores from Euro Garages.

Spar UK managing director Debbie Robinson said: “As the leading symbol group operator in the UK, store recruitment is at the heart of our national Growing Together strategy.

“We’ve had a successful year so far, with an expanding pipeline of retailers wanting to join.

“To create this success, we’ve worked tirelessly to develop innovative new store formats, an award-winning own label product range, a wider breadth of services than ever and it’s paid off.”

She said Spar had great ambitions to grow areas such as foodservice, fresh, local suppliers and franchise opportunities.

“The focus on our four pillars is working and we know we offer our award-winning retailers stable long-term partnerships,” Robinson added.