Thresher has bought online provider of gourmet meal packs leapingsalmon in a move to provide convenience foods at its off-licences.

Chief executive of Thresher, David Williams, told The Independent that the deal - worth less than £5m - was a bit “out of the box” for the chain. He said customer feedback had indicated that shoppers wanted “food as well when they come into our shops".

The deal will also see Thresher’s wines sold through leapingsalmon’s website.

Thresher is to install chiller cabinets at 500 of its stores to offer leapingsalmon's packs of Thai green curry or Portuguese chicken paella, as well as snacks such as humous and taramasalata.