Somerfield is looking for forward-thinking and entrepreneurial independent retailers to become franchisees.

The Essentials franchise package will bring the Somerfield fresh food offer to more local and small store formats.

The fascia has been trialled at seven TM Retail stores over the last 12 months, revealing average like-for-like growth of 127 per cent.

The franchise deal comprises a tailored business plan, marketing package and full product supply service six days a week.

Norman Kears, Somerfield’s franchise development director, said: “We believe that the local convenience stores must be built on understanding the needs of local communities and addressing what customers really want – fresh foods, a pleasant environment and great service.”

The franchise also offers free Arciris epos equipment, fortnightly promotions and the Somerfield Saver loyalty scheme.

The supermarket, which currently has 30 company-owned forecourts and plans to open a further 45-50 over the next 12 months, will consider sites with a sales area of 2000sq ft and the potential to achieve a minimum weekly turnover of £25,000 per week with a fresh food bias.