Sir; You have a given a lot of coverage recently to Tesco's expansion plans for its Express stores, but while it will undoubtedly mean more competition for c-stores, I don't think independent retailers should give in just yet. During my 62 years as a retailer the market has always been extremely competitive, I have seen a lot of "threats" appear, such as the discount stores, but they have failed to make significant inroads and there is still a good living to be made as an independent retailer. From personal experience, and from talking to other Spar members, I know our stores have continued to trade successfully despite Tesco opening Express stores nearby, and I am sure a well run Spar store will always be more than a match for the competition. An Express store opened a mile from one of our stores, but it has not affected our business, and I believe it has a number of weaknesses. It was not particularly competitive on prices, in contrast to the Metros and superstores, and it had no services such as the electricity and gas tokens and PayPoint and Lottery, which make our store the heart of the community. Their chilled and dairy department, and their fruit and veg was good, but their overall range was not as strong as ours. Also, knowing how difficult it is to buy sites, I doubt Tesco will be able to get anything like the 1,000 it is talking about. Stan Moore Spar retailer, Stafford {{LETTERS }}