Budgens has attacked rival Somerfield's franchise business plan, arguing that it will not have franchisees' interests at heart.
Budgens managing director for franchise Paul Mildenstein said: 'If I was a franchisee with Somerfield, I would be concerned that the profit that the company makes from me would get ploughed back into an ailing Kwik Save. I'd want my profits to help me.'
Somerfield was unavailable for comment.
Musgrave-owned Budgens is to move to a wholly franchised model by 2007.
Somerfield aims to have 600 c-stores by 2008, many of which will be franchises.
Separately, Somerfield is shutting 22 underperforming Kwik Saves in Scotland and converting 29 to Somerfield. Up to 400 redundancies are likely.
- Profile: page 12.