Somerfield is extending the roll out of its Market Fresh format and has begun converting Kwik Save stores with some spectacular results.
Changing demographics in city centres have meant that areas once suited for the discount chain are now more affluent and fit the criteria for the fresh format, which are that stores should be located in upmarket areas.
The West Didsbury store near Manchester was relaunched as a Market Fresh in August and has since doubled its sales levels, said Somerfield.
A further four Kwik Saves have already been converted.
The group is also experimenting with the size of the format. Somerfield said it was becoming more flexible with the size of store and had recently opened a larger 10,000 sq ft store as well as converting small c-stores. The 22nd Market Fresh will open in Littleover, Derby, next week and head of formats Steve Tremlett said that Somerfield is on course to reach its target of 50 stores by April.
“The format has proved it can be extremely successful outside London in busy, upmarket urban locations,” said Tremlett. “We have great confidence in Market Fresh and the conversion process is well on track.”
On average, conversions of Somerfield stores into Market Fresh format have resulted in a 20% increase in sales, Somerfield claimed. New conversions in progress also include four former Safeways - in Fife, Leeds, New Milton in Hampshire and Edgware Road in London.
Nestlé has withdrawn cartons of baby milk from shelves in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. Traces of a chemical used in the printing of the cartons for Nidina 2 and Latte Mio were found in the milk.

PepsiCo has acquired US natural snack maker Stacy’s Pita Chip Company. The group, with sales of $60m this year, will operate as a separate unit.

Sara Lee Corporation has sold its European nuts and snacks business in the Netherlands, Belgium and France to PepsiCo for 1130m. The business, with sales of 188m, markets as Duyvis in the Netherlands and Belgium and as Benenuts in France.

Carrefour is planning to cut 1,700 jobs at its administrative offices in France. The French supermarket group said that the proposed cuts were still subject to negotiations.

SABMiller has acquired the remaining 41.8% interest in its subsidiary BevCo from shareholders. Book value of the gross assets acquired was $464m. BevCo is the leading brewer and soft drinks bottler in Honduras and El Salvador.

German discounter Plus is planning to open more than 1,000 new stores by 2010. The discounter will also focus its expansion on Romania in an effort to boost store numbers from 11 to 120 by 2010.

US number two supermarket chain Albertsons’ net profit for the third quarter to November fell 30% to $77m on flat total sales of $9.9bn. Albertsons, which may put itself up for sale, said like-for-like sales for the quarter fell 0.4%, but were up 0.6% for the year to date.
Fiona McLelland
n milk pulled
n stacy’s bought
n nuts sold
n carrefour axe
n all of it
n plus expands
n albertsons flat