Southern Co-operatives has snapped up 13 stores from stricken c-store operator Nearby Stores.

The 33-strong chain fell into administration last month after running out of cash. The 13 stores are all in Southern Co-ops' trading area, which has more than 100 food stores across Hampshire, Berkshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex and Wiltshire.

All staff have transferred across and two post offices within stores in Winsley in Bradford-on-Avon and Twerton in Bath have also been saved. "The stores had been struggling to source supplies, and we are urgently working to restore stock levels and services," said Phil Ponsonby, COO food retail and services at Southern Co-op.

Property agent Christie & Co, which is selling the stores for administrator KPMG, said it was still in talks with interested parties about the other 20.