Spar retailers in the southwest will be rolling back their prices to 1980s levels under a new promotion launching next month.

Appleby Westward plans to reduce the prices of five core lines to the levels they were when the group was formed in 1984.

"This year is the 25th anniversary of two companies merging to form the Appleby Westward Group, and we want to celebrate that with five deals at 25-year-old prices," said managing director John Pattison. "Promo­tions are increasingly important for shoppers and this is a great opportunity for our retailers to put on inflation-busting offers."

Since joining from Somerfield, where he was retail managing director for the west, Pattison has increased the number of promotions in Spar stores.

He called on the 300 Spar retailers at the group's annual conference in May to offer promotions or risk going under. Retailers had listened to him, he said, and 94% of his customers were now offering promotions, encouraged by the incentive of free leaflets if they ran the deals.

Pattison said AWG was also co-investing with its retailers in new shelving so they could stock more lines and that it aimed to increase the number of fresh lines from 700 to 1,200 over the next few months.