Morrisons will rebrand the smaller supermarkets it has acquired from Safeway as Safeway Compact, while the medium-sized outlets in the estate will become Morrisons Choice stores.

From August, Morrisons will set about converting three Safeway stores a week and should be completed by 2007, the supermarket said.

Some 238 of Safeway’s larger stores over 25,000 sq ft will be converted to the full Morrisons format. With 178 stores between 15,000-25,000 sq ft adopting the Morrisons Choice fascia. This leaves 138 Safeway stores less than 15,000 sq ft, which could be rebranded as Safeway Compact stores.

Morrisons said that of the 52 stores it must sell to comply with competition concerns, four were existing Morrisons' outlets in Bramley, Chester, Ripon and Southport, with the Safeway supermarket in each town to be kept.