Spar will launch a series of celebrations next April to mark the group's 50th year of trading in the UK.

The official launch is set to coincide with the European Indoor Athletics championship, of which Spar is the main sponsor, at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Spar said it would be looking to work closely with its independents during the year, with each individual store hosting a 50th birthday party. "The fact that we have been a part of the convenience sector in the UK for 50 years is a testimony to how robust a brand Spar is," said Spar marketing director Susan Darbyshire. "We think this is something worth celebrating."

Full details of Spar's plans for the anniversary have yet to be decided.

It is thought the group will run some promotional activity through its stores to mark the event, which will also feature in group marketing campaigns.