Scottish recruits to Sainsbury’s SAVE wholesale scheme for rural retailers leaped 70% last year as the project gained pace after a lacklustre start.

There are now 265 SAVE members across the UK buying goods from local Sainsbury stores for resale - some way short of the 600 stores Sainsbury had hoped to recruit by the end of 2002, but a marked uplift on the previous year.

SAVE members get double Nectar points on all purchases and say they prefer Sainsbury to a local cash & carry because they don’t have to buy in bulk, said regionality manager Jane Wakeling.

The scheme is being plugged through Sainsbury’s website, local post offices, the Village Retail Services Association (ViRSA), the Royal Welsh Show and recruitment events held at Sainsbury distribution centres.

Sainsbury’s is still in discussions over extending SAVE to let members have orders delivered on Sainsburystoyou trucks - effectively offering a delivered wholesale service, said Wakeling.