Mace retailers have reacted positively to the P&H deal with Costcutter. Ian Watmore, forecourt operations manager, Elite Garages which has seven Mace stores in West Sussex, said: "It’s very positive for us. It should mean better promotions and better prices because of the greater buying power. It will mean we have promotional deals and one-off buys that will allow us to compete on core lines with other convenience stores and the likes of Tesco.

"There are also 1,800 new lines that we can choose from and the new own brand should be good too."

Jamie Wood, owner of Mace Wigtown Road Services, Dumfries and Galloway in south-west Scotland, said: "The increased size should bring better prices. Also Costcutter may have greater retail expertise and be able to help retailers more."