Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has opened its first motorway convenience store as part of a six-month trial with Welcome Break.

The move comes as BP opens three more Simply Food sites with M&S.

The Sainsbury’s Local format has been introduced at Birchanger Green services near Stansted on the M11. The 2,200sq ft store is carrying 1,200 lines of predominantly fresh food, with 95% of these coming from Sainsbury’s own sub brands Taste the Difference, Be Good to Yourself and So Organic.

Jonathan Lawson, Sainsbury’s director of convenience, said: "This is a one-site trial which will allow us to explore the potential in opening in one of the busiest motorway service stations. The Sainsbury’s Local format has been enormously popular with commuters at railway stations and this trial is an extension to that successful concept."

Sainsbury’s currently has 301 convenience stores, with 25 of these operating on Shell forecourts. The company has said it expects future growth in the convenience sector to be delivered "via both acquisition and organic opportunities".

Meanwhile, BP spokesperson Sheila Williams told Forecourt Trader that the Simply Food trial had been extended to an additional three Connect sites to test the format in different locations. Two are former BP/Safeway partnership sites in Whyteleafe, Surrey, and Northolt, Middlesex.

Williams said a wider roll-out decision on the joint venture was likely to be made in November or December.