Norwegian retailers Bunnpris and Rema 1000 have announced a purchasing and distribution partnership.

The companies said the move will increase competitiveness, efficiency and will streamline operations. However, both firms insisted the move will mean that they remain as “strong competitors” against each other.

Bunnpris and Rema signed a deal on 18 October that will mean Rema 1000 is responsible for procurement negotiations and agreements, as well as deliveries through Rema Distribution.

The agreement is effective from 1 January 2012, once Bunnpris’ agreement with former buying partner Norgesgruppen expires.

Bunnpris said the move from Norway Group will offer it better conditions, increased efficiency and will allow it more scope to “cultivate its own concept”.