Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for Spar stores in the South West, is reporting increasing interest from forecourt retailers impressed by the experience of Top 50 Indie companies the Chartman Group and Euro Garages. The news came as the company announced its highest new store recruitment figures in over five years. It has recruited 24 independents this year from a wide selection of competitors, including securing four Co-op disposals.

In addition, the company has been integrating 32 Euro Garages forecourt sites throughout its territory this autumn, refitting the stores under the Spar fascia.

"We have enjoyed tremendous success with new store recruitment this year, and are budgeting to bring in a further 24 stores in 2016," said Nick Kenworthy, Appleby Westward’s sales director. "The majority of new sites are neighbourhood locations, although we continue to experience success in appealing to fuel retailers, with six of our 24 stores coming from that market. "

The Euro Garages sites being incorporated in the Appleby Westward territory are a result of its purchase of sites from the major oil companies."We introduced 26 of the 32 Euro Garages sites in September which was a massive logistical challenge for Appleby Westward," said Nick. "The partnership with Euro Garages is very exciting for us."