The National Federation of Retail Newsagents has overcome the mid-term hiccup it suffered when Londis pulled out of its fascia project, and the scheme is firmly back on track. Speaking exclusively to The Grocer, former Spar boss John Irish ­ called in by the Federation's NFSL 2000 commercial arm to shake up lethargic CTNs ­ said he expected that between 30 and 40 Federation stores would have switched from a pure CTN format to a c-store mix by the end of the year. He said 10 stores had currently had a makeover and he claimed the results were "quite staggering. The average sales increase is close to 30%, with the top uplifts hitting the 60% mark." The Londis u-turn, which Irish described as "unfortunate" after the group's senior personnel initially showed such enthusiasm, has been partially overcome by Key Lekkerland agreeing to take the scheme on board. Its wholesaler in the south west, T&A Symonds, is about to refurbish an 800 sq ft store in Weston-super-Mare under the Quix banner and a 1,000 sq ft outlet at Nailsea, Bristol, which will have the KeyStore fascia. Symonds' sales manager Paul Vinell said: "Our main aim is to develop the KeyStore image, but we are happy to work with the NFRN to develop its own fascias." Irish said the scheme should be "fully fledged" by the turn of the year. He confirmed that the Federation was about to meet Palmer & Harvey McLane, to discuss the wholesaler's ongoing involvement. P&H will now only convert CTNs to one of its own symbols -- Mace, Supershop or Your Store ­ although, early in the scheme, it did refurbish one store under the News Etc fascia. {{NEWS }}