A new division of Spar in the Irish Republic is planning a major expansion, with 15 EuroSpars (12,000-14,000 sq ft) to be built in the next five years. Newhill, which owns 117 Spar stores in the Dublin area, became part of BWG, which owns the Spar franchise in Ireland, as part of the deal which bought out BWG from its parent Pernod Ricard. Unlike BWG, which is solely a distributor and owns no stores, Newhill has built up an estate of convenience outlets in the Dublin area, and it is now looking to extend its territory and run bigger stores. Its main target will be the Centra and SuperValu chains, which together have a 24% share of the Irish grocery market, operating on franchise to the Musgrave Group. But a spokeswoman for Musgrave was dismissive of the planned challenge. "We're not losing any sleep over it," she said. But there have been reports that Newhill boss John Clohisey, the man who is behind the expansion drive, has been offering such high prices for shopping sites that even some Centra and SuperValu retailers have been tempted. Clohisey's stores are run by managers on an incentive basis, while Musgrave guarantees loans to enable managers to buy their own shops, with a stipulation that, should they wish to sell, the company gets first refusal on the shop, at the market price. As a result of Clohisey's intervention, however, it is now being asked to pay higher prices than planned. Musgrave's spokeswoman insisted that Spar could never match the deal it offers its retailers, including "five deliveries a week, right to the door". There were no fees or charges, she said, unlike Spar, which "takes 7-8% of each retailer's turnover". Clohisey, who has been in the trade for some 20 years, agreed that figure was correct, but claimed his retailers have no financial burden, as he "puts together the whole business package". Musgrave had every reason to lose sleep, he responded, as franchised retailers in Kildare and Dublin had already moved to Spar, and he was offering "a real alternative". {{NEWS }}