Both the Kwik Save and Somerfield brands are to be retained if the proposed merger between the two supermarket groups goes ahead, with own-label ranges shared between them.
If approved by shareholders and authorities, the merger will create a stable of more than 1400 stores. Around 120 overlapping stores may be strategically changed from Somerfield to Kwik Save, or vice versa. Representatives of both chains deny that the Kwik Save name will be dropped.
Kwik Save’s No Frills own-label range may be adopted by Somerfield stores, while Somerfield ranges may find their way into Kwik Save outlets.
The future is less clear for a more upmarket Kwik Save own-label range, which was introduced last year with packaging designed by Manchester consultancy The Chase. “We are waiting to see the merger documents before making detailed plans,” says a Kwik Save spokeswoman.
Store formats are likely to see some development, reflecting the difference in existing stores between the two chains. Kwik Save introduced trial stores, developed by Design House, late last year, while Somerfield has gradually been upgrading its store portfolio with a Rawls & Co format as it phases out Gateway, its previous name. “It’s too soon to look at detailed store formats,” says a Somerfield spokeswoman.