As Costcutter continues to struggle with availability and service, Spar has claimed its service levels are at an all-time high.

The symbol group said service levels hit 98.7% for the last three months - with its five wholesalers recording an average 97.5% for deliveries arriving on time.

Spar MD Debbie Robinson attributed the record performance to its streamlined consolidation centre system, which was showing “exceptional growth. “This winter we look forward to giving our retailers the best possible service,” she added.

Meanwhile, Appleby Westward is to invest £2m this year and next, and place a “big future focus” on store recruitment.