Morrisons is looking to open 70 stores as part of its latest convenience store format by the end of 2013.

The Bradford-based supermarket business has appointed Gordon Mowat, former strategy director, as managing director of the M Local business in a bid to help grow the new format in the next year.

Morrisons said it would be starting to open new M Local stores throughout the UK, focusing initially on London and the south east region.

Dalton Philips, chief executive at Morrisons, told the Ilkley Gazette: “Too often convenience shopping is about compromise as customers get second-best on range, freshness and price. M Locals show there is a better way to serve customers, with half the space dedicated to fresh food and scratch cooking, all at very competitive prices.

“We are now ready to expand at pace, and I am delighted Gordon will be spearheading the growth of M Locals, particularly into London and the south east.”

Morrisons trialled its M Local concept in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, last year and now operates a further four sites in Wilmslow, Manchester, Doncaster and Birmingham.