Convenience retailers have an opportunity to win supermarket customers’ trust and footfall as controversy surrounds Tesco.

Despite multiples “decimating” small businesses, the news of three former Tesco chief executives charged with fraud could present local retailers with a chance to provide a level of service the multiples are hard-pressed to compete with, retailers have told Retail Newsagent.

The charges are linked to the supermarket giant’s £263m accounting scandal, when it was discovered the grocer had inflated profits by incorrectly booking payments from suppliers.

Sandy Sarwar, owner of two Premier Pricekracker stores in Dundee, believes this is an opportunity for local retailers.

He said: “You can walk from one supermarket to the other in Dundee. They have decimated small businesses.

“But small retailers, we’re on the front line. People see us every day. We’re scrutinised more than the bigger supermarkets.”

Simon Routledge, of J & S News in Hull, believes a large part of his business is communication with his customers in order to bridge the gap and gain trust.

It comes as research from Barbour ABI also reveals all bar one of the combined 20 planning applications from Tesco and Sainsbury’s this year are for convenience stores. Tesco chairman John Allan has admitted to an unhealthy ‘race for space’.

However, James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said while the big four multiples are turning their attention to online, the discounters are buying up space to increase their market share, with 112 planning applications this year approved for Aldi and Lidl stores.