Sainsbury’s stores in Northern Ireland have begun stocking Spar products to minimise availability issues following Brexit.

Own-label products from the symbol group were spotted on the shelves in some of the multiple’s sites days after the UK left the European Union. There are fewer than 100 Spar products in the sites and a Sainsbury’s spokesperson told RN the supply deal is a temporary relationship: “A small number of our products are temporarily unavailable for our customers in Northern Ireland while border arrangements are confirmed.

Sainsbury’s in direct wholesale talks with independent retailers

“We were prepared for this and so our customers will find a wide range of alternative products in our stores in the meantime and we are working hard to get back to our full, usual range soon.”

The arrangement comes as Sainsbury’s has been discreetly approaching independent retailers for a direct supply agreement. The supermarket also struck a wholesale deal with Simply Fresh last year.

A Henderson Group spokesperson added: ““Over the last several months we have been contingency planning for Brexit to minimise any disruption to the food supply chain for our 470 stores across N.I. after 31 December 2020.  We can confirm that we have entered into a temporary supply agreement with J. Sainsbury supermarkets that will see both parties working together to ensure availability of a range of goods for our customers.”