Sainsbury’s convenience stores will overtake its number of supermarkets this year demonstrating the shift in focus in the sector.

Sainsbury’s, which opened its first Local store 15 years ago, operates 591 supermarkets and 541 smaller Sainsbury’s Local stores.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King confirmed he is set to open more smaller formats than its supermarkets at the grocer’s annual general meeting yesterday, according to The Telegraph.

The retailer is currently opening two convenience stores each week.

King added that the “space race” in the industry was not over, despite Tesco boss Philip Clarke stating it had ended.

King said: “It may be that one or two of our competitors have chosen to leave that race. But that’s not quite the same as saying the space race is over, because for Sainsbury’s there’s still much opportunity to grow our business into the future.”