Scotmid is looking to create “mini high streets” by separating off small parcels of store space and renting them to other retailers.

The latest site to receive the treatment is the Scottish co-op’s Moredun store in Edinburgh, which was converted last month. Scotmid cut 1,700 sq ft of store space to create two extra units on either side of the now 3,400 sq ft store.

“We have very few limits on which retailers can rent the space because we believe most stores would not damage sales, they’d increase footfall,” said Scotmid project manager David Greenshields.

The society said it had managed to maintain the same product range in the smaller store with more efficient store layouts and introducing taller, deeper fridges.

Scotmid started leasing space out to other retailers in 2011 and is currently converting two or three stores a year to the new model.

“By bringing in competition we sharpen our offer,” explained Scotmid regional manager Jason Bartie.

“We’re making ­little high streets ­- people can do different types of shopping just by coming to the stretch of road by our store.”

Scotmid’s head of property, Adrian Lorimer, added the plan helped the society compete against larger out-of-town supermarkets.

“At Moredun, we knew an Aldi was opening nearby soon. Renting out those units gets us rent, but also reduces energy costs and our business rate liability. So it’s about a mixture of saving money and preparing for new competition.”