The research by CACI shows that, of the big three supermarkets, Tesco is likely to end up with the bulk of stores provided Morrisons is happy to sell to such a close rival. While Tesco has the best demographic fit to nine stores, it is likely to take 12 as it has the greatest eligibility.
Asda is likely to end up with only three of the remaining Safeways, despite having the best demographic fit to 16 of the stores.
Competition Commission restrictions mean that, in many cases, the supermarket fascia with which the local population catchment has the best demographic fit is unable to purchase the store. CACI predicts eight stores will go to retailers outside the top three. Waitrose has purchased 14 stores from the disposal list, plus four other Safeway stores and a Morrison outlet.
Morrisons opened the first two converted Safeway stores in Southport and Ripon on Friday. Internally, the Ripon store is based on Morrisons’ Market Street concept, which focuses on fresh food.
The Ripon store in Harrogate Road is 21,420 sq ft in total size and the Southport store measures 25,543 sq ft.
Sir Ken Morrison officially opened the Ripon Store in the presence of the Mayor of Ripon, councillor David Parnaby.
Two more converted Safeway stores are due to open next week in Chester and Bramley.
>>p29 Tesco’s winning ticket