Swedish retailer Axfood has welcomed Vi Retailers' Association's recommendation that its members sign individual chain agreements to join its Hemköp banner.

The decision to back the move, which was reached at Vi's annual general meeting yesterday (27 April), is part of a long-term cooperation between the two groups, which was initiated two years ago, Axfood said.

"At Hemköp we are highly enthusiastic about this opportunity to strengthen the chain with more stores, additional expertise and greater entrepreneurship. It also creates opportunities to build a larger, stronger and more visible Hemköp, particularly in the fast-growing Stockholm market," Ola Andersson, Hemköp's president, said.

An additional general meeting decision will be required before the agreement can formally take effect.