UK retailer Somerfield has revealed plans for a major expansion push into the convenience store sector.

The company plans to have 600 convenience stores by 2008, through new store openings, acquisitions and the development of a franchise business, reported Retail Week.

The company plans to convert around 150 stores to its Essentials format, as well as the 36 Aberness stores it recently acquired.

“The revolution has begun and we believe that the (Essentials) format is industry-leading. The proposition is different to Tesco Express – that is more of a scaled-down supermarket. We are focusing more on food to go, food for now and food for later,” Steve Tremlett, Somerfield’s head of convenience formats, was quoted by Retail Week as saying.

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