Tesco won’t find convenience retailing as easy as it thinks warned industry chiefs following its bid to buy an 862 storechunk of the market.

AF Blakemore retail director Elwyn Davies said: “This is only bad news for bad independents out there.

“If Tesco thinks it can operate a 1,500 sq ft store with the same overheads as a 50,000 sq ft store, it will get a shock.”

And the c-store sector is prepared if Tesco turns the screw on T&S suppliers, said Davies. “That’s fine as long as they don’t come knocking at our door to make up where they lose out with Tesco.

“And I’m putting out a health warning to that effect. The Spar brand is strong and bold enough to withstand anything Tesco can throw at it.”

Spar chief executive Jerry Marwood said the Co-operative Group buyout of Alldays was not a surprise but the Tesco bid was. “It shows the opportunity in c-stores and highlights the buoyancy of the market. We have to make sure that we’re fit enough to compete and I’m confident we are.”

For more detail on this news story see this week's copy of The Grocer magazine.