John Wood
Kwik Save will reintroduce its own label early next year and a "cheapest on display" sub brand called Kwik Save Simply.
In his first interview since taking over as Kwik Save MD last month, Robin Whitbread said the own label plans were an important part of his strategy to re-establish the Kwik Save brand.
He said: "At the moment we have tertiary lines in the store which I don't think we give enough prominence.
"Many of those lines we are going to be converting to an own label cheapest-on-display line under a new sub brand, and then following that we are going to introduce the Kwik Save own label range so the customer has a hierarchy of choice."
Whitbread also revealed that a range of impulse lines, which he dubbed "weeks treats", had also just been introduced.
"There are extra sales there. It shouldn't be taking business away from anywhere else in the store, " he said.
Whitbread said work on developing new Kwik Save concept stores was set to continue, with more due to come on stream early in the new year.
He said: "We now have six concept stores on the ground and we have been encouraged by the results, but we still need to do quite a lot more in the way we brand them and the way we position the goods."
The existing concept stores are about 9-10,000 sq ft, but Whitebread said the new concept stores would be smaller, at around 6-7,000 sq ft, which was more typical of the group's retail estate.
Whitbread said he did not view the concentration on price by Tesco and Asda as a major threat to Kwik Save. "They are positioning themselves from a price point of view, but we operate in a more local market."
He said he viewed the other discounters and the Co-operative Group as his main competition, and suggested Aldi, Lidl and Netto may have benefitted from Kwik Save's problems.
"We haven't performed to our true potential, and they may well have picked up some business from us, but I'm confident we can build our business."

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