Booker’s symbol fascia Premier has added 250 new stores to its estate in the past eight months.

The new recruits take the Symbol Retailer of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards for the past two years to 3,100 convenience stores.

Martin Swadling, head of Premier, said a quarter of the new recruits had come from existing symbol operators.

“Premier is continuing to deliver for retailers….recruiting 250 stores this year is a real achievement and I am excited about building on this success throughout 2015,” he said.

Premier will open its third store in Northern Ireland at the end of next week, in West Belfast.

The expansion comes against the backdrop of Premier’s 20th birthday celebrations throughout this year which have included television commercials for the first time.

Tony Singh, of Premier Townhill Stores, in Swansea, South Wales - the most recent recruit and who previously belonged to Costcutter - said he turned over an extra £4,000 in the first week of operating under the Premier fascia.

“I wish we had moved from my previous symbol group sooner and would encourage other retailers to take a look at Premier as we haven’t looked back,” he said.