Morrisons' first foray into convenience has been met with criticism from local businesses.

Its 3,000sq ft debut 'M Local' store will be located in Ilkley, Bradford, in an area already served by several independent retailers and where a new Tesco store is also due to open in 2012.

It will be the first of three trial stores under the 'M Local' banner, with the other two to be located on the outskirts of Manchester and on Merseyside.

Morrisons head of media relations Julian Bailey said that the convenience arm would focus on fresh food. "We think there is a gap for a c-store operator that sells fresh food really well," he said. "At the moment there isn't the variety and quality of fresh food that people are looking for."

Local retailer Mark Preston of Addingham Newsagents believed it would damage independent retailers in the area. He said: "Another store could take away valuable business."

Ilkley Business Forum chairman Paul Birch said that rather than creating jobs, the store may attract employees away from local businesses.