Costcutter is offering independent retailers savings worth £5,000 to join its symbol group this year.

Retailers signing up will get free Costcutter fascia and window vinyls. For their first year they will also be spared the Costcutter membership and Nisa Associate membership fees, which total £1,900.

They are also offering free access to group in-store radio and TV platforms, which normally costs retailers £390 a year.

Costcutter trading director Angela Barber said the company was renewing its focus on building store numbers and helping existing members grow sales. "We are really concentrating on the grass roots," she said. "We are running our biggest-ever TV campaign and have recently boosted our trading team. We are all working hard to improve our offer and our stores."

Northern Ireland, where Costcutter operates 138 stores, was a growing market for the group, said Barber. "We have opened a number of new stores in Northern Ireland recently and are getting some great brand visibility over there."

The group is also due to open its 100th forecourt store in partnership with US fuel company Murco in the next few weeks.

It hopes to open 30 more new stores on Murco forecourts this year.