I always find it difficult when one retailer complains about another encroaching on his territory, especially when both classify as c-stores. In this case Mitesh Patel (Best-one, Brighton) wasn’t complaining about the existence of his new Premier neighbour so much as the fact that PayPoint installed another terminal there.

He argues that he has been a good performer for PP and doesn’t see the logic. And he believes that the new outlet got PP because the owner has other stores (and, he assumes, a good track record).

PayPoint says it felt there was additional capacity in the area which another terminal would be able to service. Spokesman Peter Brooker says: “Certainly, over the six weeks since the new terminal was installed, this has been the case; transactions at Mitesh’s shop have been higher than during the same period last year, despite the warmer weather this year. However, we should have spoken to Mitesh to let him know that this was what we were intending to do and to reassure him of our continued support.”

Mitesh doesn’t buy this. He says that whenever someone starts a new service it takes customers a while to realise that it is there. “Even if you put an outside sign holder, posters in the shop and so on, so six weeks is too short a period to judge any outcome.”

His question is: if PayPoint knows how well he is doing, why position another terminal so close?

The emails have been flying back and forth. But in the latest PP is still sticking to its guns believing that there is additional capacity (that is, demand for bill payment services) which another terminal would be able to service.