Sainsbury’s and Asda will have more than 600 forecourts between them in their proposed merger.

Their combined business will create one of the UK’s leading grocery, general merchandise and clothing retail groups, with combined revenues of £51bn. The aim is to maintain both the Sainsbury’s and Asda brands, and enable them to sharpen their distinctive customer propositions and attract new customers.

The deal will combine a network of more than 2,800 Sainsbury’s, Asda and Argos stores, with a combined 47m customer transactions per week.

The combined companies expect to lower prices by around 10% on many of the products.

Commenting on the deal, Mike Coupe, chief executive officer of Sainsbury’s, said: "This is a transformational opportunity to create a new force in UK retail, which will be more competitive and give customers more of what they want. It will create a business that is more dynamic, more adaptable, more resilient and an even bigger contributor to the UK economy. Having worked at Asda before Sainsbury’s, I understand the culture and the businesses well and believe they are the best possible fit. This creates a great deal for customers, colleagues, suppliers and shareholders."