Head of convenience Steve Henshaw said: 'Franchising is a key element in our strategy and our focus on convenience, so it is important that we spend time adjusting the model before starting a large-scale roll-out.'
In January, the Bristol-based group - a Baugur takeover target - said it expected to double sales through its convenience stores to£210 million by the end of May.
Henshaw added: 'Somerfield is confident that franchising represents a significant growth opportunity to extend the reach of its brand in the future.'
Somerfield's dalliance with the franchise market began in 2003 with a seven-store partnership with neighbourhood specialist TM Retail, owner of the Forbuoys, Martins and RS McColl chains.
On the back of the TM Retail move, Somerfield rolled out its own-brand independent franchise stores, of which there are five. The group aims to have 600 convenience stores by the end of 2008, including a significant number of franchises.
Earlier this year, Somerfield struck a deal with Texaco to acquire 140 forecourt stores.