Costcutter plans to rebadge its estate in the “18 months’ breathing space” before Tesco’s Express format takes off, said chairman and chief executive Colin Graves.

Speaking at Costcutter’s annual supplier conference, he said the symbol chain was cracking down on retailer discipline and building defences, including a new licensed concept, a ramped up marketing package and an extended own label offer.

As a result of Tesco and the Co-operative Group extending their convenience portfolios, Graves predicted that Mace and Key Lekkerland would fall victim to consolidation in the convenience market, but that Londis, Spar and Costcutter would stay afloat.

He added: “What about the other multiples joining in the game? Safeway certainly works well with BP. And do we all think Asda is going to sit there and do nothing?”

Full news story in this week’s copy of The Grocer magazine