Christmas products would hit stores over the next few weeks, a spokeswoman said, with the vast majority of packaged own-label Christmas lines in Somerfield stores carrying The Co-operative branding.
The range will comprise premium Truly Irresistible lines, as well as standard lines, and will include Christmas puddings, mince pies and cakes; chilled and frozen party foods; fruit and veg; chilled and frozen desserts; cheese, cooked meat and pâtés.
Products under The Co-operative brand have already started appearing in Somerfield, the spokeswoman added, including milk, cheeses, ready meals, yoghurts, chilled desserts, chilled pizzas and pies. This week, the society's frozen party food range went into Somerfield stores. Its tissue range was launched in Somerfield in August, and Somerfield's Simply Value range was rebranded as The Co-operative Simply Value and launched into Co-op stores back in March.
The Co-op Group is also heavily promoting its ownership on Somerfield's consumer-facing website and in-store. 'Welcome to the family' banners have been created, and Somerfield's corporate website redirects to the society's website.
Meanwhile, the society is continuing to consolidate its supply chain. More than 80 jobs are at risk at Somerfield's distribution centre in Huntingdon. The DC is operated by Wincanton, which a Somerfield spokesman confirmed had entered into consultation with staff regarding possible redundancies, expected to be among warehouse, management, administrative and clerical roles.
Wincanton has proposed 75 job cuts at Somerfield's Bridgwater depot following a fall in distribution volumes and plans to close a Somerfield DC in East Kilbride, affecting 200 jobs.
The rebranding of stores to The Co-operative fascia continues, with 16 stores relaunched so far.