Spar is considering a national rollout of a phased promotion initiative following a successful trial within James Hall's company-owned stores division.

The trial, which was introduced last year, involved phasing in a third of Spar's national three-weekly promotions every week in a bid to convey a constant value message to customers. Stores ran off-licence promotions in week one, fresh and frozen in week two, and grocery in week three, with each category supported by colour-coded pos material and ordering paperwork.

Spar Northern Guild chairman John Hodgson claimed that the strategy had eased the job of implementating promotions in-store, as well as "delivering sales when the trading environment is particularly difficult".

He added: "Whereas in the four other regional distribution centres sales have been in negative growth, in our company own stores division we have positive growth of 1.7%.

"These figures are a reflection of our own independent retail sample, and we believe firmly that phased promotions have been a major factor in delivering these figures."