Speaking as the group published its full-year results, executive chairman John von Spreckelsen said the system would enable Somerfield to be more savvy about ranging according to location, demographics and store size. It would also help ensure that the right number of facings were allocated according to rate of sale.
This was particularly crucial in small stores, where sweating space without compromising availability was essential, he said.
The bulk of the estate would be refurbished by 2006/7, he added. “We can do refits more cheaply now, at £100-£150 a square foot for Somerfield and about two thirds of that for Kwik Save.”
Sales per square foot at refurbished Somerfield stores (a third of the estate) were £14 compared to £10 at uninvested stores, while revamped Kwik Saves (10% of the estate) were generating £10 per sq ft compared to £7 for unconverted stores.
Group pre-tax profit was up from £25.8m to £41.1m for the year to April 24, in line with expectations. Sales were flat at £5.05bn, despite the
closure of stores that generated more than £108m in the previous year.
Like-for-like sales in the first nine weeks of the new financial year were up 2.9% at Somerfield and 2.4% at Kwik Save.
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