Somerfield, one of Britain’s leading local supermarket chains, has announced the creation of a new Somerfield Business Unit, with a new management team to drive the recovery progamme and replicate the success of the Kwik Save Business Unit (KSBU).

The unit will be responsible for delivering the new strategy and providing a sharper and faster all round decision-making process to improve the customer service in its 590 stores.

CEO Alan Smith said: “We have been very pleased with the success of the KSBU which has given significant benefits in terms of sales, margin and return on capital investment by providing a clear focus on the customer offer.

“I am confident that the Somerfield Business Unit […] will replicate this great success and provide clarity for the Somerfield store formats.”

The company appointed Bill Williams, currently retail operations director, as MD of the new unit. Williams commented: “Over the last twelve months Somerfield has made considerable progress in improving store standards, focusing on product range, presentation and availability. However, we still have work to do to improve our business. The creation of the Somerfield Business Unit will allow us to focus on the customer offer and to drive sales and profits.”

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Williams’ executive team will include: commercial director, Nigel Broadhurst, who will transfer from the Kwik Save Business Unit; Tina Lewis, human resources director; business performance director, Julian Barrett; and Martin Moran, interim retail director. The new business unit will be fully operational by mid-March.

The current responsibilities of the group marketing department will transfer to the respective business units. Stephen Barnett, group marketing director, will be responsible for this transition. He will advise on group strategy and the development of the distinct brand/fascia strategies.

Under MD Graham Maguire, the KSBU will continue to drive the recovery programme with the clear strategy to position Kwik Save as the local retailer offering the biggest brands at the lowest prices.

The move follows last month’s interim results for the group which showed a return to the black for the business with profits of £5.6m (US$7.97m).