Sales hikes of 20% have been delivered in a pilot of Spar's store segmentation model, according to West Country Spar wholesaler Appleby Westward.

It is n0w set to include the scheme in its store development plans for next year at a cost of £1.5m.

Managing director Ian Connell said sales were up by one fifth at a store in Helston, Cornwall, that switched to the Neighbourhood Value model this summer.

"This is the first store we remodelled and it has been a success, particularly with fresh produce and food to go," he added.

Connell said Appleby Westward would convert between 30 and 40 of its 350 stores next year, using the scheme to define layout, fittings and ranging.

The company will also use the scheme for refits of an expected 30 newly recruited stores next year.