Somerfield is planning to expand the non food offer within its Kwik Save stores following successful trials. The non food initiative has been tested in 25 stores in Wales and the North West of England since September. Kwik Save commercial director Nigel Broadhurst said the new products had gone down well with customers. Although the trial period ran through the traditionally busy Christmas period, Broadhurst said he was encouraged by the fact sales/sq ft, average basket spend and footfall had all risen in the stores. The long-term plan now is to introduce the non food range to half the Kwik Save estate. However, Broadhurst said it would be rolled out in a "sensible" fashion. "The next step is to make sure we build the infrastructure in terms of logistics, distribution and IT to handle this," he explained. "We are not dealing with cans and packets. This is a relatively small number of lines that change very frequently." The discount chain has always had a non food offer focused around When it's gone, it's gone' deals. But Broadhurst said it had underperformed in non food compared to rival retailers. "We also had a number of stores that were larger than required for our core food offer. So the logic was to increase our average spend and footfall by removing the overfacing of grocery and putting in a non food aisle." The discounter is now offering a permanent range of non food products spanning categories such as housewares, small electrical and clothing. But in each category the offer is designed to rotate quickly. The non food initiative is being run by a small team at Kwik Save headed up by concept development manager Peter O'Toole. A key task for them, said Broadhurst, was to identify new suppliers particularly jobbers and brokers who could supply top up lines. News of the non food roll out came as Somerfield reported its results for the 28 weeks to November 10. Kwik Save's like-for-likes grew by 3.5% during that period. And the 300 stores to have undergone one of its makeovers saw like-for-likes jump 6.2%. l See page 22 {{NEWS }}