necs Naveen Vadhera

Spar wholesaler James Hall has snapped up 30-strong group North East Convenience Stores.

The Lancashire-based wholesaler will own a total of 142 stores after agreeing to buy the c-store group from brothers Naveen and Sanjeev Vadhera for an undisclosed sum. The chain had an annual turnover of £24.2m.

The NECS stores will all undergo Spar rebranding “over the coming weeks”, according to NECS financial director Sajeev Vadhera.

James Hall MD Andrew Hall added: “We are delighted to have acquired such a successful and fast-moving business and we welcome Naveen, Sanjeev and the 400 employees of NECS into the James Hall group.”

NECS will become a subsidiary of James Hall and the brothers will remain in executive ­management positions.

“James Hall & Co completely understand the aspirations and ethos of NECS,” said NECS MD Naveen Vadhera. “We believe the synergies between the two companies will assist NECS as it continues to develop and grow over the next few years. We believe that with the support and experience of the James Hall team and the strength of the Spar brand, NECS will be at the forefront of convenience retailing in the years to come.”

NECS had been a Nisa member for the past 16 years. However, in February the buying group served notice it would not be renewing the chain’s membership as part of a wider review of loss-making accounts. It was understood that Nisa felt NECS was cherry-picking from its promotions. Nisa’s contract to supply NECS was due to finish on 1 August.

Company-owned stores are a key focus for Spar wholesalers. Blakemore Retail and CJ Lang have 302 and 120 respectively, while Appleby Westward has 63 after buying Gilletts last month.