Britain's Co-operative Group has agreed to buy four Little Waitrose convenience stores located throughout the UK from Waitrose.
According to a press release, the Co-op is slated to acquire Little Waitrose convenience stores in Birmingham, London, and two locations in Manchester.
The sale is expected to be completed later on in the year, around autumn, as details relating to the arrangement of the agreement are still in the process of being finalised.
The Co-op announced its plan to open 100 new food stores in 2018 earlier this year.
"Our acquisition and refit programme forms a fundamental part of our food strategy," Stuart Hookins, who is the Co-op's director of property portfolio and development, said in a press release.
"Our aim is for stores to be at the heart of local life, creating stronger communities and offering great quality products conveniently, when and where our members and customers need them.”
The Co-op has seen four consecutive years of like-for-like sales growth in its core convenience business.
However, according to Thomas Brereton, who is a retail analyst at GlobalData, the food division "showed slight negative growth despite a 3.4% hike in like-for-like sales," Brereton said. "This was largely a result of the division’s ongoing store strategy, closing larger stores to focus on consumer convenience."
Despite this, the group is working on expanding its network into new sectors. In May, the Co-op acquired Nisa Retail Limited. Last month, the group announced it would invest €2.25 million into opening two new food stores in Nottingham this summer, which will create potentially up to 30 new job opportunities.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Padideh Aghanoury. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.