More than 1,000 retailers have joined Spar’s newspaper and magazine scheme since it started in March last year.

The group is urging the rest of its members to join the Spar News Group and make it as big as schemes run by Asda or the Co-operative Group. It has a 2% share of the UK newspaper and magazine market, but full member support could increase this to 5%, allowing it to negotiate better terms with suppliers.

“News and magazines are the biggest footfall drivers in convenience stores – they generate customer loyalty, repeat sales and deliver a higher gross profit than grocery, off-licence and tobacco sales,” said Adrian Calver, news controller at Spar. “A newspaper shopper spends an average £5.19 per visit or £20.76 a week, as opposed to the average c-store shopper spend of £19.74.”

Retailers’ sales had grown as a result of the scheme, he claimed.