Palmer and Harvey and Costcutter have expressed their delight at today’s approval by the Office of Fair Trading of the transfer of the 800 Mace, Supershop and Your Store brands to Costcutter Supermarkets Group, announced on March 13.

The development means the two companies, by means of a 50/50 jointly owned independent company called The BuyCo, will have greater negotiating power when dealing with suppliers.

Palmer and Harvey’s chief executive, Chris Etherington, said: “This is excellent news. It will enable us to focus on our core strengths and extend the delivery benefits and excellent national service standards already enjoyed by our existing customers to the wider Costcutter Supermarkets Group. Meanwhile, our symbol retailers will have access to Costcutter Supermarkets Group’s widely acclaimed retail service and support.”

Darcy Willson-Rymer, CEO Of Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: “This is great news for Costcutter Supermarkets Group and all our member retailers. By necessity, the OFT investigation has delayed the Mace, Supershop and Your Store brands moving across to Costcutter Supermarkets Group. We will now press ahead at pace, so that they are taking advantage of our market leading retail service and support as soon as possible.

“We hope as many of the Mace, Supershop and Your Store retailers will be able to join us at our exhibition in Manchester on September 17th. The event will be an excellent opportunity for them to meet with other Costcutter Supermarkets Group members and key suppliers.”

“This decision also enables us to finalise arrangements regarding our new buy and supply system which will be implemented across Costcutter Supermarkets Group in mid-2014.”

Martyn Ward, CEO of The BuyCo, commented: “Through The BuyCo we will be able to offer retailers the most competitive prices and promotions, as well as an industry-leading product range. The BuyCo will serve the buying needs of Palmer and Harvey’s existing retail customer base, as well as those of the Costcutter Supermarkets Group.”