Marks and Spencer could be preparing to rub salt into Tesco's wounds by beating the chain to open a store in Gerrards Cross.
Tesco is developing a store in the town but had to put its plans on hold after a tunnel beneath the site collapsed last year. Last week it ditched the engineering team and hired engineering company Costain to carry out a review of the project.
But now M&S has revealed that it is interested in opening a Simply Food in the town.
A spokeswoman for M&S said: "Gerrards Cross is an area we are interested in. We are looking to open a branch there but we have not got anything signed and sealed yet."
Any move into Gerrards Cross would allow M&S to establish itself long before Tesco. Although any M&S store would be much smaller than Tesco's, the town is currently only served by an independent supermarket, AA Fisher. Local councillors believe that an M&S would be more popular than Tesco.
Peter Chapman, chairman of Gerrards Cross Parish Council, said: "My guess is that residents would prefer M&S although that would not be consistent with the two principal objections to Tesco - an increase in vehicle traffic and the closure of small independents who can't compete with a large store."
Beth Brooks