Retailers in the picturesque town of Ottery St Mary in Devon are warming up for the "fight of their lives" once a new 20,000sq ft Sainsbury's opens this autumn.

They have already launched a new shopper loyalty and discount card, and are planning to bolster their local grocery ranges in a bid to take on the supermarket, which they have been battling against for more than eight years.

The store was given the green light by planners despite the submission of a variety of surveys and reports which showed that it would be highly detrimental to the local economy.

Local Costcutter retailer Mike Bird told C-Store. "We believe the information used by planners was flawed. They claimed the town needed such a large store because the population was more than 8,100, but in fact it's just 4,100.

"The fact that this build has been allowed to go ahead is a travesty, but the time for complaining is now past. We have to accept that it is coming and raise our game. We will play on our provenance and the service that we can offer."

Mike added: "It's going to be tough, but by working together we'll give them a serious run for their money.".