Somerfield is to close 27 stores with the loss of up to 650 jobs following a review of each shop's profitability.

The closures are believed to be at former Kwik Save stores that were converted to Somerfield earlier this year after the value chain was bought by a consortium called Back To The Future. Somerfield retained 102 Kwik Saves that it said best suited its own model.

A spokesman said:

"Like any business we review the profitability of our stores on an ongoing basis. As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to close some individual ex-Kwik Save stores."

Staff facing redundancy will be helped to find either a job at a different Somerfield branch, or with another local employer. All the stores are to shut on or before 21 October.

The review has also led to changes in staff terms and conditions. Somerfield remains in talks with shopworkers' union Usdaw after staff voted not to accept changes to their contracts.