Supermarket group Somerfield has called in retail design specialist Retail Planning Associates to handle the transformation of stores trading under the Kwik Save banner to the Somerfield brand.
Somerfield announced its merger with 871-strong Kwik Save in March. Taking into account the 556 stores trading under the Somerfield, Food Giant, Gateway and Solo facias, the combined group has sales of 6bn, making it the fifth biggest supermarket player in the UK.
Between 100 and 120 Kwik Save stores are expected to be axed, but the majority will stay open even if they are close to a Somerfield store, says a Somerfield spokesman.
“We will look for a flexible format, such as a convenience store, when sites overlap,” he says. At 743m2, the average size of Kwik Save stores is slightly below the Somerfield average of 929m2. RPA will look at “everything in the stores, from counters to refrigerators”, he adds. This will include developing new customer service elements, he says.
RPA was appointed to the project last week, says a spokeswoman for the design group. Trials in ten stores are planned for the end of October, with five years being allowed for the total rebranding of Kwik Save outlets.