Wholesale group Sugro UK is to introduce a new range of fascia stores under its own name.

Managing director Philip Jenkins said that developing a fascia was "a race we had to enter, and we expect to win it in the long term".

The company already operates seven stores in the North West of England under the 'Nearbuy' fascia and is preparing to launch a new 'Sugro Convenience' format in Northern Ireland through its member O'Reilly Wholesale Confectioners, with a view to expanding the Sugro Convenience fascia throughout the UK.

At the group's annual conference, Jenkins told its members: "The existing Nearbuy stores have been completely refurbished inside and out and we have been trialling them over the past few months, and the response so far has been very positive.

"In Northern Ireland, we are using a different fascia, but like Nearbuy the concept is underpinned by our Sweetbreak promotions programme, which runs successfully in more than 1,300 stores nationwide."

The move will mark the debut of the Sugro name in the public eye. "Sugro is a solid name and a good badge to have," Jenkins added.

He said the group's wholesale members would decide which retailers were best suited to the new fascia.