Costcutter and Mace retailers have welcomed the news that Co-op will become the group’s exclusive supplier after the collapse of P&H yesterday, anticipating greater buying power will come from the deal.

Many have been left making phone calls to alternatives suppliers overnight and this morning to make up for deliveries they had been expecting from P&H today.

Mike Nicholls, who owns four Costcutter and Mace Stores in Yorkshire, said: “it is great news today and retailers who have supported Costcutter through all this will win in the end.

“I think with Nisa, Costcutter and Co-op it should give us great buying power. Something had to happen after the Tesco-Booker announcement.

“It would have been better if it was announced before P&H actually went into administration but Costcutter has been very supportive throughout and kept us in the loop. Retailers who have made a snap decision to leave will lose out.”

Arnaud Leudjou, of Costcutter Brunel University in Uxbridge, added: “This is good news and I expect we’ll have more buying power. The recent deal Co-op has struck with Nisa also helps this and I’m confident we’ll be able to negotiate better prices with suppliers.

“Having access to their logistics network is also something I’m looking forward to because it means we can have more reliable deliveries at a much quicker rate. The opportunity to have access to more fresh products is also good as the majority of my customers are concerned about their health.”

Chaz Chahal, of Costcutter in Bromsgrove, described the announcement as a “relief” following yesterday’s sudden announcement.

“Nobody foresaw it and it means we’re not left suddenly without a supply chain. There’s so much competition in the market when you consider the Tesco/Booker merger and Co-op supplying Costcutter can only help us compete more now,” he said.

Keith Tomes, of Costcutter Swanage, added: “I’m sure it will all work out long time but it is a bit of a shame how it’s all happened as it’s left us struggling at the moment. They must have known what was going on and it has been a bit of a shambles.

“At the moment I am having to put in a lot of calls to other sources because they don’t seem to have a proper contingency plan.”