Sainsbury has acquired nine former Safeway stores from Morrisons.

Eight of the stores are located in the south of England and the ninth is in Scotland. They have an estimated gross asset value of approximately £16.8m.

Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury, said that the stores would give Sainsbury more than 175,000 sq ft of new space, with an average size of around 20,000 sq ft.

“They will provide an opportunity to strengthen our market position in town centre locations and deliver further growth,” he added.

Each store acquisition is conditional under approval from the Office of Fair Trading, with a decision expected in the autumn. Sainsbury said that when approval is completed the stores will close for six weeks while they are refurbished and reopened before Christmas under the Sainsbury’s facia.

Morrisons said that all staff at the stores would transfer to Sainsbury.

The stores are located in Hammersmith, Morden, Slough, Andover, Eastleigh, Bitterne, Midsomer Norton, Acocks Green and East Kilbride.