CJ Lang has launched a recruitment drive to sign up more independent retailers to the Spar fascia.

The Spar wholesaler is offering up to £25,000 per store to help retailers cover the costs of conversion, refit project management and in-store advertising support. New members will also receive free membership for the first year. The incentives package, which is available until 31 March, is also on offer to existing Spar members who add a store to their portfolio.

"So far the response has been excellent," said a spokesman for CJ Lang. "Lots of retailers have called from other symbol groups and our field sales team are at meetings now."

Clare Smith, sales and marketing director for Spar Scotland, added: "Independent convenience retailers are being faced with increased costs, increased competition and difficulties in obtaining credit. Our new package of incentives will help progressive retailers convert their stores to Spar.

"These benefits, combined with the unsurpassed level of support afforded by the group, will help businesses boost profitability with one the most recognised and trusted brands in local shopping."

CJ Lang's retailer base suffered a blow in November when Scottish Spar retailer Botterills was acquires by Scotmid Co-operative Society for an undisclosed sum. Botterills owned 51 stores and made up 18% of the 281 independently owned Spars CJ Lang supplied.