Somerfield's new management team has made the creation of new store formats one of its priorities for the coming year. Chief executive Alan Smith said: "The estate has not had effective investment for quite some time. The competition have been moving their formats and offers at a speed we have not kept pace with." He said the company was developing two formats for smaller stores, another for mid size stores with a sales area of 8,000 sq ft, and a fourth format for those stores of 14,000 sq ft and above. The flooding of the company's Uckfield store in the autumn provided Somerfield with the opportunity to try out some new ideas ­ and develop a format for mid size outlets. Smith said some of the most important work had revolved around the way fresh produce, frozen foods and wines were displayed. The store has new style fixtures, a convenience area and more express checkouts. Much of this thinking will now be carried forward to a store being opened in March in Kingswood, Bristol, which will become the template for Somerfield's larger supermarkets. The chain's city store format ­ being tested at two locations in central London ­ will be rolled out to other major conurbations. And it will be modified to create a convenience format for small stores in other locations. However, Smith played down the idea that the "fresh" logo featured on the windows of the pilot stores will become a sub brand for Somerfield's small stores. "My view is that we should not sub brand because it does not mean anything to the consumer," he said. Somerfield will continue to develop a single format for Kwik Save, building on the work done in its Bootle store, which is said to have exceeded sales expectations. Aside from major refits, about 200 Kwik Saves will have each been given a £75,000 facelift by the end of the year. {{NEWS }}