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Somerfield's first shop was made in Kingswood in Bristol in 1875 as "J H Mills" but until 1990 the Somerfield name was introduced on one former Gateway shop in Burnham on Sea, Somerset. It was introduced as a trial and was deemed successful so it was rolled out across the Gateway chain over the next few years culminating in the change of the company name from the Gateway Corporation to Somerfield plc in May 1994.
Somerfield was taken over by The Co-operative in 2008, with the takeover fully completed in 2009. The Co-operative then rebranded all of the Somerfield shops until all former Somerfield shops had the new fascia in 2011.