No one’s done it before. But now 37,000 of the country’s c-stores – their locations, facilities, competition and customer bases – have been weighed up so we can reveal the UK’s 100 hottest spots for convenience retailing. Nick Hughes reports

In all the scrutiny that accompanies Tesco, the role of its One Stop fascia remains an enigma. The most common theory is that it’s a Trojan horse, enabling Tesco to snap up and run c-stores without attracting the attention of irate local campaigners.

It’s also believed, in some quarters, that the separately run convenience chain is a trick up Tesco’s sleeve, held in reserve in the event of an enforced disposal programme by the next Competition Commission enquiry.

But any suggestions that the One Stop chain is a repository for failing Tesco Express stores can be put to rest with the publication of The Grocer’s Hot 100.

When it comes to convenience retailing, Tesco’s Express format accounts for 25% of the UK’s hottest 100 c-stores. But top in our ranking is a Peterborough One Stop.