Booker has opened its first Premier convenience store in Northern Ireland.

The launch follows the wholesaler’s acquisition of Makro in April last year. Booker did not have a presence in Northern Ireland prior to the deal.

The 870 sq ft store opened in Newtownards and is owned by retailer Brian Meneely. Previously a Vivo, it has been relaunched with a new ceiling and lighting, extra refrigeration and new products.

“I am really impressed with the whole Premier package,” he said. 

“Everything about the brand will help my store to drive the value message to increase both sales and profits. The promotions are fantastic, own-brands are strong and the POS draws shoppers attention to the great value to increase incremental sales too.”

Director of Premier Martin Swadling added: “This opening is great news for Premier and independent retailers in Northern Ireland.  We will be working hard to improve choice, price and service for our customers and I am delighted that Premier will be serving local communities in this new area for us.”

Meneely marked the opening by holding a family fun day with BBQ, face painting giveaways and extra promotions.

Earlier this month, Premier was crowned Symbol Retailer of the Year at The Grocer Gold Awards for a second year.

Booker revealed in its full-year results last month that Premier, which now has 3,000 c-stores, grew sales by 12% in the year to 28 March 2014 - the 11th consecutive year of double-digit growth for the fascia.