Grocer Morrisons today opened its first convenience store as it prepares to chase growth in the fast growing market in which rivals Tesco and Sainsburys have already established powerful positions.

The shop in Ilkley, Yorkshire, is the first of a three-store trial of the M-local fascia, in order to evaluate and refine a convenience model.

The store, in a converted college building, comprises almost 3,000 sq ft and is built around fresh products such as “freshly ground coffee, fresh orange juice, baked goods, and a salad bar”. Fresh food is one of the grocer’s established strengths in its supermarket estate.

Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips said: “The M-local offer will be different: a greater emphasis on fresh food and, critically, the same competitive prices for fresh food in M-local as in Morrisons.”

Many convenience stores apply a price premium to fresh produce which Morrisons believes it can undercut by between 4% and 11%. 

Stock will be supplied from nearby Morrisons supermarkets to ensure freshness.