Somerfield is entering the next phase of a redevelopment programme that aims to create one umbrella for the retail group’s IT and supply chains.
The process has been a key element of Somerfield’s five-year recovery programme that began in May 2000 after it suffered a plunge in profits and sales.
Although the company is currently a takeover target and its books have been opened to potential bidders for due diligence, management is continuing with the agenda set in 2000. It has been working to consolidate and simplify systems across Somerfield and Kwik Save
and a new business IT strategy has been developed over the past year. A major recruitment drive has been launched to take the scheme forward.
A spokeswoman said the recovery programme, which also includes improving range and value, and investment in stores and people, was still ongoing.
“Somerfield is now well into its planned recovery programme and the investment is already proving successful,” she added.
Somerfield and Kwik Save store refurbishments have formed a major part of the strategy and more than 100 stores are being refurbished this year. Many of these will be converted into the Essentials and Market Fresh formats.
The company said recently that it was putting the roll-out of its franchising model on hold (The Grocer, June 11, p4).
Somerfield will update shareholders on the progress of the programme when it releases its annual results on July 6.
Marks and Spencer has been ordered to close its flagship store in a Hong Kong shopping centre. An M&S spokeswoman said it had been told to leave Pacific Place by its owners as part of “a drive to diversify their tenant mix”. Meanwhile, M&S is considering launching stores in Russia, according to reports.

Dutch grocery chain Royal Ahold has completed the sale of its US convenience chain Tops to private equity firm WFI Acquisition. The deal includes the sale of 198 Wilson Farms and Sugarcreek c-stores, which will continue to operate under the same name.

Italian dairy giant Parmalat could relist on the Milan stock exchange later this year. The group, which collapsed in 2003 after revealing a e3.9bn black hole in its accounts, is busy voting on the relist, but needs more than 50% of its creditors to approve the plan.

Columbia has become the first developing country to register a geographical indication application with the European Commission. The application came from the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Columbia to register Café de Columbia as a Protected Denomination of Origin.

Japan’s 10 major supermarket operators will close a record 92 stores this year, a newspaper reported. It said they planned to open only 83 stores for the year to March 2006. Retailer Daiei will close 53, Aeon 15, Maruetsu 13 and Ito-Yokado four.

US supermarket group Kroger has reported a first-quarter sales increase of 6.3% to $17.95bn compared with $16.9bn last year. Like-for-like sales grew 3.8% (including petrol) and 2.4% (excluding).
M&S told to quit
Ahold sells tops
Parmalat relist?
Columbia patent
Japan closures
Kroger sales up