John Henderson, the symbol group which operates the Spar, Vivo and VG brands in Northern Ireland, is developing a new store format under the Vivo brand along similar lines to its Eurospar concept.
Hendersons hopes to open the first of the new Vivo Xtra stores in Castlederg at the end of the month.
Ken McWhinney, managing director of John Henderson, said the reason behind the development was to bring the Vivo brand into line with the more established Spar brand.
“We have two very strong brands with Spar and Vivo, and between them we want to offer the complete retail package for the independent sector.”
There are currently three Eurospar stores in the province. These are larger stores with a minimum size of 4,000sq ft, and are destination shops with a wider range than traditional convenience stores and a big emphasis on fresh.
As well as developing the new Vivo xtra concept, Hendersons is planning to increase the number of Eurospar stores it operates from the current total of three to 20 within the next couple of years.
McWhinney says that the size of these new stores will generally be about 4,000sq ft and will be situated in towns with easy access for local communities.
He said: “What we intend to do is bring the community store back to the community. These new stores will serve the local consumer well and hopefully help to considerably strengthen retailing within these areas.”