South West Spar distributor Appleby Westward has announced a 5.6% increase in like-for-like wholesale sales over the two-week Christmas and new year trading period.

Appleby Westward Retail Distribution Centre

Appleby said “strong performances” from independent Spar stores contributed to the overall increase.

Head of sales Steve Thomas said: “Customers are making more shopping trips to convenience stores and this has boosted our performance.

“A combination of good product availability throughout the period along with many strong Spar brand award-winning lines also made a contribution, and we had lots of reports of store teams creating festive fun with some great customer interaction.”

He added that delivery schedules had been carefully planned with stores prior to the festive period.

In the year to 30 September 2019, Appleby Westward reported a 0.9% drop in turnover, which was attributed to the loss of “a large national supply account”, thought to be MFG forecourts.

In December Appleby announced the acquisition of 17-site c-store group Denovo Retail Limited for an undisclosed sum, taking its total company-owned Spar estate to 88 stores.