Loss of Botterills business forces CJ Lang to hit recruitment trail

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Scottish Spar wholesaler CJ Lang has launched a major recruitment drive for independents in a bid to recoup the business lost as a result of this week's acquisition of Botterills by Scotmid.

CJ Lang also plans to increase the number of its company-owned stores in the wake of the deal. Botterills, 19th in The Grocer's Top 50 ranking of independent grocery retailers, owned 51 stores and accounted for 18% of the 281 independently owned Spars supplied by CJ Lang.

"Naturally it will take Lang time to replace the lost business but we are confident that will be achieved through the robust strategy we have in place," said MD Scott Malcolm. "Increasing our Spar independent retailer estate is an absolute priority, including the opportunity to focus on areas where Spar will no longer be represented."

CJ Lang owns 93 Spar stores and with several "acquisitions imminent" expects to own 100 stores by May. The Botterills acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, boosts Scotmid's ­convenience estate to 200 stores.

"This is an exciting acquisition for Scotmid and absolutely in line with our strategy to become Scotland's preferred community convenience retailer," said CEO John Brodie.

"The Botterills business is also a great fit geographically, extending our branch network further west and south and bringing with it some very experienced people in the convenience sector."

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