Representatives of the c-store trade reacted positively to news of the rethink.

Nisa-Today’s group commercial director Neil Turton said: “Our original opinion was that the earlier OFT judgement was flawed. The OFT decision is not the end of the road by far, but is an encouraging sign that obvious flaws in the grocery market economics and competition dynamic will be given proper consideration.”

The role of the ACS in the turnaround was praised by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, which had lent support to the legal challenge against the OFT.

FWD director general John Murphy commented: “We must not be triumphalist because we now have to wait and see what happens next, but this is a positive step.”