Somerfield set to spend £70m on new formats

Somerfield has earmarked£70 million to spend on new store types as it looks to take its portfolio forward.

The grocer is keeping tight-lipped about what exactly will feature in the new formats and how many it plans to open.

A spokeswoman for Somerfield said that the stores will have cutting-edge technology and be an important part of the chain's strategy going forward.

The first of the new stores will be unveiled within the next few weeks.

Separately, Somerfield has opened its first new-build City Fresh store. The 3,400 sq ft (315 sq m) outlet in Manchester's Picadilly area has a strong emphasis on fresh and chilled produce, as well as ready meals. It also features four self-scanning tills, doubling the number that Somerfield has across its estate.

The 590-strong Somerfield chain is in the midst of a refurbishment programme across its portfolio and is to improve 100 stores over the next 12 months.