Somerfield chief executive Paul Mason told staff this week the chain had had an "exceptional" year.

Over the past 12 months, Somerfield's EBITDA profits were up 50% year-on-year and the next step was now to "reinvigorate the business" and focus on driving sales.

The latest TNS figures show Somerfield's market share down four base points to 3.7% on sales down 4% (12 weeks to 22 April).

Management were to concentrate on availability, store environment and service as it sought to become Britain's favourite local grocery shop.

Improvements to the group's forecasting tools and in-store processes would help it to become the "best local retailer for availability".

Fresh produce would be the first to come under the spotlight with a new fresh forecasting tool set to be introduced this summer.

Mason was speaking at a conference for 300 Somerfield suppliers and 1,300 managers and support staff. He also said he was looking at speeding up checkout queuing times and other improvements including in-store refurbs to lower shelf heights and widen aisles, and more visible PoS.

Somerfield would also continue to "hammer down" the price of everyday grocery items, said Mason.

More attractive offers with deeper price cuts and clearer themes would be introduced alongside better in-store merchandising that would have more impact.