Booker is promising longer and more accessible opening hours as it aims to live up to its promise of becoming the "back store" for independent retailers.

Now Booker's 172 depots will open at 7:30am from Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 1pm on Sundays instead of choosing their own opening times, between 7:30am to 9am, during the week and some not opening at all on Sundays.

"This is part of Booker's commitment to better service," said Steve Fox, director of retail and Premier development. "The new opening hours mean greater flexibility for our customers to help them manage their business day-to-day and also act as a top-up at the weekend."

Fox said the changes were made in response to customer demand.

Meanwhile, the redevelopment of branches will be accelerated. There are currently 24 of the new orange- coloured Extra depots and there are plans for another 11 by March next year.