SPAR International has purchased 45 Contashop petrol station stores in Switzerland in a bid to boost its presence in the service station channel in the country.

The retailer has acquired the Gossau-based store banner from parent firm Oettinger Davidoff Group for an undisclosed sum, it revealed this week.

Last year, Spar said it wanted to become involved in the “fast-growing convenience market” and subsequently opened two ‘Spar Express’ stores in Zurich and Winterthur.

With the purchase of Contashop, Spar said it can expand the ‘Express’ concept further. All 45 shops, which offer a range of private label and branded convenience products, will retain the 300 employees following completion of the acquisition.

Stefan Leuthold, chairman of the board of Spar Switzerland, said the group is “delighted” to be able, through the purchase of Contashop, to acquire a new base that will give “strong impetus” to the Spar Express concept.