Forecourts are a key growth area for symbol group Spar, with site numbers increasing by 34 per cent in the past two years.

In its latest financial results, Spar has announced record sales – up 16 per cent in its 12th consecutive month of rising sales, and footfall figures of 12 million transactions a week.

Like-for-like sales increased by 6.3 per cent over the past six months, with gross sales increasing to £2.6bn per annum. There are now 2,784 Spar stores in the UK, a figure that is up by nine per cent on last year.

The number of multiple-owned stores within the group has grown by 12 per cent, indicating a boom in entrepreneurial retailers. New-builds have increased by 70 per cent, and the number of new-builds is now eight times the rate of store closures.

Jerry Marwood, managing director of Spar, said: “Our retailers include some of the most entrepreneurial individuals in the country and for every Spar store which closes, we are opening eight more stores in other locations.

“We are delighted to announce such significant successes throughout the entire SPAR organisation, and our results prove that the future is bright for independent retailers working together.

“Our aim is, and always has been, to ensure that independent businesses achieve their full potential – that’s what SPAR is all about.”