UK retail group Somerfield has said it will drop the Kwik Save banner in Scotland, converting some stores to the Somerfield format and closing the remainder.

Somerfield said the major restructure of its store portfolio in Scotland is in line with its strategy to improve profitability and strengthen the Somerfield and Kwik Save brands nationally.

The group plans to convert 29 of its Scottish Kwik Save stores to the Somerfield brand by the end of the year. These will join the 54 Somerfield stores already in Scotland and the 36 convenience stores operating under the Mace brand, which the company acquired with the Aberness business in March 2004.

Somerfield has decided to close the remaining 22 Kwik Save stores by the end of the year because they are not deemed suitable for conversion to the Somerfield store format.

"Somerfield has traditionally been the stronger brand in Scotland and we now have the opportunity to drive this success through store investment, acquisition and franchising opportunities. We have therefore decided to focus our investment in Scotland on the Somerfield brand and the Aberness business," a company spokesman said.

The company said there are around 500 employees working in the 22 stores earmarked for closure. The spokesman added that the net number of redundancies is expected to be less than 400.

Somerfield also said that a joint review between Somerfield and its logistics partner, Wincanton, has resulted in the decision to close its East Kilbride depot, which employs approximately 150 staff, as a result of this move. Somerfield's Scottish distribution will be handled from Wincanton's regional distribution centre in Pitreavie.