tesco, town, floating, expressTesco’s results, released on Tuesday, include a figure that shows like-for-like sales in the UK were up 1.2 per cent in the six months to the end of August this year, compared to the same period last year.

However, of more interest to local retailers in the convenience channel is its increased emphasis on opening local shops, which now account for 10 per cent of its selling space. The grocer increased its number of Express c-stores by 53 in the first half and this will increase by 103 in the next six months, with the stores having an average floor space of 2,281 square feet, which equates to more than £57,000 sales a week.

At the same time, it is planning 22 more One Stop shops in the second half, with an average floor space of 1,181 square feet, which equates to sales of £14,750 a week.

What is the secret? Availability, service and quality, Tesco tells investors. Shopper satisfaction with its availability is the highest ever, it says. 10 million shoppers a week are using self-service checkouts. Better merchandising in fresh food and better-trained staff are improving the shopper perception of fresh food.

Does this apply in the convenience channel? Local shopkeepers need to do their own homework. The good news is that you may not have to travel too far to find out!