Spar is continuing to outperform the market in news and magazines, with sales growth of 8% against a flat market last year. Membership of the Spar News Group has grown to 740 retailers, making it one of the largest news buying groups in the country. Spar retail services controller Barry Wallis said membership would easily rise to 1,000, and then probably level off at about 1,500 as retailers saw the benefits of disciplined compliance to promotional packages. The news group negotiates deals with magazine distributors to run promotions on titles displayed prominently in participating stores on fixtures clipped to racks. Some retailers have seen sales uplifts of 15% in the news category since joining the group. Each Spar wholesaler now has a dedicated news specialist, underlying Spar's commitment to the category, said Wallis, who is looking at doing national deals on newspapers after success with certain titles on a localised basis. {{NEWS }}