Sainsbury’s has acquired four stores from Somerfield, the retailer said yesterday (2 Aug).

Sainsbury’s has been on the look-out for new sites to step up its store development programme and, with an average size of 20,000 square foot, these four outlets are expected to enhance earnings in their first full year of operation.

Darren Shapland, Sainsbury’s chief financial officer, said: “This acquisition is an example of the opportunities starting to emerge and we will continue to look for new sites across the UK. We are also delighted to be introducing Sainsbury’s products and services to new areas and customers as well as welcoming around 300 new colleagues to Sainsbury’s.”

Each outlet will be rebranded and open in the autumn. All employees’ contracts will be transferred to Sainsbury.

In a separate transaction, Sainsbury’s said it had acquired a 35,000 square foot food-focused store in Urmston, Manchester. It is expected to open in 2008.