Spar is planning a massive overhaul of its 900-strong own-label range this year in what it claims is the company's biggest initiative since Eight Till Late.

Next month, the company will relaunch its value range as Spar Extra Value to help shoppers through the credit crunch. This will be followed up in May and June by a revamp of some 200 products across its standard own-label range. A number of products will be delisted to make way for about 100 new products, while 100 products will be redeveloped with new packaging and improved recipes.

The Extra Value range will hit stores in February with 20 lines including lemonade, orange juice, baked beans and long-grain rice. A new red and white design will be used across all packaging to highlight that the products are "simple and honest" and each pack will be price-marked.

The range will also be supported by new PoS focused on the price of each product and the savings customers could make by buying products from the range. "We hope to create better awareness of the Spar brand and aim to create a much more consistent look across the whole product portfolio," said Spar brand marketing controller Vicky Shepherd. "We want to offer a highly visible range of relevant value lines to our customers while using Spar own label as a sales driver for retailers. This will achieve more sales at higher margin and generate increased customer loyalty, frequency of spend and visit."

Own label was the fastest-growing area in convenience food and accounted for two-thirds of value sales, Shepherd added.

Meanwhile, Spar has bought 11 stores from Somerfield following its merger with The Co-operative Group.

MD Jerry Marwood said a number of the stores were suitable for conversion to Eurospars - the larger format. One of the stores will be selected as a Eurospar trial store, the first of its kind on the mainland, he added.