Co-op’s trial removal of magazine stands, placing self-service checkouts in their place, has been labelled a “great opportunity” for independents.

The change has already been made at one of the retail group’s stores in Islington, London.

A Co-op spokesman said: “There are low levels of magazine sales at this store, and limited space – about 1,700sq ft. To maximise the customer experience and carry a convenience range which meets its customers’ needs for top-up shopping, fresh foods, meal ideas and wines, it has been trialled at this store.”

It is not clear whether the same action has been taken in other Co-op stores.

The NFRN’s head of news Brian Murphy said the trial could represent a “great opportunity” for independent retailers.

Ranjan Patel has a Co-op less than half a mile from her east London store, Marsh Hill News. “If other Co-op stores started to do this I think it would benefit my store as more people would come to me,” she said.

John Green, of Premier Sawtry in Cambridgeshire, said independents had to make the most of any opportunity presented to them.