Somerfield is to sell its interest in the Mace wholesale business in Scotland to Palmer & Harvey McLane in a bid to focus on its core retail estate.

This follows a torrid time for Mace in Scotland. In the last few weeks 10 c-stores have left Mace to join Spar.

Somerfield said it was unable to focus on the business, which it bought from Aberness in March last year.

Instead the supermarket said it wanted to focus on recent acquisitions, including 118 forecourts from Texaco, 22 forecourts from Fuelforce and 114 former Safeway stores from Morrisons.

Palmer & Harvey plans to close two depots with the loss of 75 jobs and will supply Mace’s 70 independent stores in Scotland through its distribution centre in Dunfermline.

The Sussex-based delivered wholesaler already has the rights to the Mace brand in England and Wales and has an existing unbranded wholesale business in Scotland.

Steve Henshaw, Somerfield's head of convenience business, said: "Somerfield believes that Palmer & Harvey is best placed to secure the future success of the Mace brand in Scotland. It is regrettable that the sale will result in the closure of the Aberness operation. We will be consulting with employees with a view to finding them jobs elsewhere in our business or to assist them finding alternative jobs locally.”