Somerfield has boosted estimates for the number of Essentials and Market Fresh stores due to be open by 2005 because their roll-out is progressing faster than expected.
In March, the multiple predicted it would have opened 40 stores based on the two formats by the end of the year (The Grocer, March 27, p6).
But format director Kieron Mayes said: “The number of Essentials conversions alone will exceed that - there will be 59 by the year-end as well as 10 additional Market Fresh stores.” He said the acquisition of c-store chain Aberness in March had boosted conversion targets for the Essentials convenience estate. The next Market Fresh store is due to open in Dulwich, south London, on June 2.
Mayes added that the next two pilots of the format known internally as “progressive” would be launched in Essex and Devon this summer.
Referring to the Kwik Save refurb programme, Mayes said: “Investment will continue in the current financial year following successful trials, with 75 stores targeted for regeneration by 2005.”