Hard discounter Netto is to experiment with impulse sales, introducing a budget range of sandwiches to all its 130 stores.
Managing director Thomas Jellum said he was weighing up bids from two rival suppliers, one own label, the other branded.
The range will go into stores as soon as possible, through Netto's own distribution network.
Jellum said Netto decided to introduce sandwiches as market data on sales looked promising, despite uncertainty over whether hard discount and impulse mixed.
He said there were signs that they did, as a pilot range of convenience meals such as a microwaveable Chinese takeaway priced £3.99 at selected Netto stores had been successful. That range is being extended and put in all stores. Jellum said Netto had yet to decide how and where sandwiches would be merchandised, but no other lunchbox items would be sold alongside the range. "We are not a cafe," he said. Netto will also pitch for stores that come on the market after the sale of Safeway, in addition to opening up to 15 new sites for 2003.
Said Jellum: "We are sitting on the sidelines watching what happens with Safeway.
"It's all very interesting. We are hoping we can get a few stores."
Jellum added that Netto would open from five to seven new stores in the next six months, using the extra capacity in its supply chain, after a recent shake-up of its distribution network.
The company closed its Reading distribution centre and in September opened a new depot in Daventry, Northamptonshire.