One of the largest members of the Association of Convenience Stores, T&S Stores, has quit because of the conflict between the policy pursued by ACS and that of its parent Tesco.

ACS has been campaigning against consolidation of the c-store sector, and recently made submissions to the Office of Fair Trading urging it to refer the takeovers of Adminstore by Tesco and of Bells Stores by Sainsbury.

Colin Holmes, head of Tesco’s convenience store business said: “Consolidation in the convenience sector will continue, re-shaping the market in coming years. We are unable to support ACS’s strong stance on this issue.”

Bells joint MD Steven Bell, a former chairman of ACS, would not comment other than to say his company was a strong supporter of the association.

ACS chief executive David Rae paid tribute to the contribution T&S made to the ACS, and to the commitment shown by Holmes over the past year when he has been a member of the board.