Sainsbury’s has called time on its tie-up with petrol station forecourt operator Euro Garages just two years after launching six pilot stores.

The partnership, which marked Sainsbury’s first foray into the franchise model, was ended following a commercial review of the trial.

Sainsbury’s already has more than 800 c-stores across the UK but had been exploring the franchise model as a way of broadening its reach into the fast-growing convenience market.

At the time of its last full-year results in May 2017, the grocer’s boss Mike Coupe said there were “a lot of independent sites” across the UK where “the Sainsbury’s brand would play well”.

He added: “If we can get a franchise model that works for both parties – the franchisee as well as ourselves – that would be something where, in a relatively capital-light way, we could put our business in the future.”

But a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said today: “Sainsbury’s launched a small franchise trial, in partnership with Euro Garages, in 2016.

“Following a commercial review, a joint decision has been made to bring the trial to a close.”

Sainsbury’s big four rival Morrisons, which sold off its M Local convenience chain in 2015, is also testing demand for smaller branded stores on petrol forecourts through a partnership with Rontec.