Spar has vowed to axe products if its retailers or wholesalers can buy them cheaper at Tesco.

MD Debbie Robinson, who took the hot seat as The Grocer’s guest editor this week, said the symbol group had to “level the playing field” for independent retailers by driving down their costs.

“There have been occasions when it has been cheaper for us to buy from Tesco than the terms we’re getting. Those suppliers are responsible for managing those brands and we’re taking them to task - if we can’t compete, then we can’t deal with that supplier,” she said.

The move is part of a major project to reduce duplication and rationalise the range offered by Spar’s five regional wholesalers, so popular brands are bought in the same format to ensure best possible terms.

“There have been occasions when it’s been in the interest of suppliers to give the wholesalers something different so we don’t qualify for best terms,” she added.