Page last updated at 01:27 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

New supermarket chain Haldane expands business

Cutting the ribbon at a Haldanes store
The Prestonpans store was one of the first to be opened

Haldanes Stores, the new supermarket company which was launched last month, has bought another 13 outlets.

This brings the number of shops in the independent chain to 18 throughout the UK.

Haldanes opened its first three supermarkets in the past fortnight in Prestonpans, Carluke and Tranent.

The company has been buying stores from the Co-operative group, which was forced to sell some shops following its acquisition of Somerfield.

Most of the new outlets are in Scotland and include stores in Kelso, Arbroath, Fraserburgh, Wick and Larkhall.

'On track'

Chairman of the group Arthur Harris said: "Our acquisition plans are right on track and we will have all 18 supermarkets running under the Haldanes name by Easter.

"And we are still on the acquisition trail for other stores the length and breadth of the UK."

Haldanes - which has a trading logo "Refreshingly local" - said it was the first mid-sized supermarket chain to open for business in the UK for 27 years.

Its headquarters are in Grantham, Lincolnshire, with a regional base in Broxburn, West Lothian.

The 728 people currently employed at the 18 stores will transfer to Haldanes and the group expects to employ another 22 people when all the management positions have been filled.

Haldanes plans to have a chain of about 50 stores within the next four years, employing about 1,200 people.

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