Waitrose is to open its first new style of convenience store, with a self-service food bar, in Trinity Square in December

It is hoped the smaller stores of the John Lewis Partnership's food division, which will offer a range of premium specialist foods, will help efforts to double the size of the business by 2017.

The December opening at Trinity Square in Nottingham marks the first of an initial trial, with a further three Waitrose convenience stores planned to open by spring 2009.

While the locations of these stores are still to be decided, sizes will range between 5,000sq ft and 7,000sq ft. Waitrose is also trialling a ‘market town format’ designed for shops between 10,000sq ft and 15,000 sq ft.

Produce will include specialist cheeses, breads, a fresh meat and fish counter as well as a self-service smoothie bar.

Waitrose’s managing director, Mark Price said: ‘The new format further reinforces the strengths of our brand and the values that run throughout our business.

‘We want to revive that old-fashioned personalised service in convenience shops, which consumers value, but within a fresh and contemporary setting.'

In Nottingham it joins Borders and TK Maxx.

Aviva Investors and Helical Bar are the landlords of the Trinity Square scheme. Capital Retail and Cushman & Wakefield advised on the Nottingham deal.