Nicola Gordon-Seymour Hendersons, Spar UK's wholesaler in Northern Ireland, is looking for smaller format stores in the Province. Ken McWhinney, Hender-sons deputy md, said a CTN format would be the most likely option or a variation on Spar's Express format. "There are fewer opportunities for expansion in Northern Ireland due to the high density of stores in the area, but there are lots of routes to market and our job is to develop the business in any way viable," said McWhinney. Hendersons is determined to play a significant role in Spar UK's plans to add 750 stores to its portfolio and has recently spent £1.5m developing its largest company owned Spar forecourt premises in Bangor. The 3,500 sq ft forecourt store was launched two weeks ago and already has a weekly footfall of 9,500 customers. Earlier this month the first UK EuroSpar opened in the Province. The store is a combination of Spar UK's Millennium format and that of Spar International's EuroSpar. The format represents the blueprint for any future EuroSpar stores in the UK. But despite the positive response from customers since launch, Hendersons says the format is unlikely to take precedence over smaller stores in Northern Ireland. "We will be monitoring the EuroSpar store and may look at developing more but not on a massive scale ­ we need to be pragmatic in our thinking," added McWhinney. Hendersons is continuing the process of converting its 150 Northern Irish VG convenience stores to the Vivo format which was developed for Eire. McWhinney said the transition would give retailers "a stronger all Ireland brand". Thirty five stores have already been transformed and another 100 will be converted within a year. Hendersons is also developing a web site for retailers to order stocks and through which the company can transmit latest developments and information. It will be looking to launch an online shopping package in the future. {{NEWS }}