Euro Garages is trialling a partnership with Sainsbury’s with the opening of a Sainsbury’s Local store at its flagship Beehive site in Blackburn.

The store, the first of six in a pilot scheme with Euro Garages, opened on Thursday October 20 and is operated by Euro Garages.

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s confirmed it is the first time it has allowed another retailer to operate a Sainsbury’s Local store.

The second and third stores in the trial will open at Heathrow North (Shepiston Lane) and Blackford Bridge (Bury) tomorrow (October 27).

Euro Garages commercial director Ilyas Munshi said: “Euro Garages has entered into a trial store programme with Sainsbury’s. All the Sainsbury’s stores will be operated by Euro Garages as part of a strategic franchise partnership. Based on consumer reaction and response for the Sainsbury’s Local convenience offer, a further roll-out will be considered if the trial is deemed a success.”

The Blackburn store was previously a Spar outlet and Munshi explained: “All the staff members have been retrained to operate the Sainsbury’s Local and further 15 new jobs have been created.”

Euro Garages has an extensive estate of Spar stores and Munshi said the partnership with Sainsbury’s would have no impact on the relationship with Spar, adding: “We continue to operate the majority of our estate as before.”

Euro Garages area manager Barry Westley said: “We’re delighted with the new convenience store which will provide customers with Sainsbury’s award-winning convenience offer.

“People are leading busy lifestyles and there is a growing trend that they want to do a top-up shop while they stop on-site to either fill up or visit our locations for coffee, breakfast or lunch. We are looking forward to serve our customers with a more comprehensive offer in the months ahead.”

In the most recent Top 50 Indies Euro Garages was ranked third with 361 sites.