Leading CTN operator Rippleglen is teaming up with Spar in a bid to develop its fledgling convenience retailing business.

The Birmingham-based retailer said it had identified the need to sign up to a symbol group and push into convenience following its vendor assisted buyout in January.

Rippleglen completed its first store conversion to the Spar fascia earlier this month a former Mercury News store in Wigston, Leicester. A number of other branches have also been earmarked as having the potential for conversion, Rippleglen's retail development manager Simon Meek told The Grocer.

Meek said there had been a "fantastic reception from consumers" to the redeveloped 1,000 sq ft store, which now includes an extended alcohol offer, an ­improved fresh food range and a first for Rippleglen a hot food to go offer.

In keeping with Rippleglen's CTN heritage, the store retains a larger news and magazine range than would be normal in a Spar store of this size.

"We needed to form a partnership with an organisation with the relevant know-how and the means to deliver a great concept, operation and brand," said Meek.

The conversion was carried by Spar wholesale AF Blakemore. "We are ideally placed to offer the strong brand and support to help Rippleglen expand its business, said AF Blakemore ­development director Louis Drake. "We look forward to developing the business with them."

Rippleglen currently operates 145 stores under the Arden News, Supernews, Candies, Supercigs, and News Shops fascias.