UK retailer the Co-operative has confirmed plans to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018, as well as refurbishing a further 150 outlets, following an investment of £160 million.
This plan will include more than 20 new stores in London, up to 18 in Scotland, ten in Wales, and several others in cities such as Blackpool, Bristol, Manchester and York.
The retailer will also transform more of its stores to its new-look retail concept, which focuses on offering a wide range of fresh, healthy foods and meal ideas, as well as increased ranges of own-brand and locally sourced produce.
“Moving forward with a clear purpose and momentum, our expansion plans for 2018 will mean that the Co-op is on track to have opened at least 100 new stores in each of three consecutive years,” said Stuart Hopkins, director of portfolio and development at the Co-op.
“With over one million new active members joining us in the last year, we are always looking for new locations to get closer to where our members and customers live and work to meet their shopping needs conveniently,” Hopkins continued.
This investment, however, is only part of the Co-op’s expansion plans for the year.
Last month, the retailer announced a new wholesale agreement with convenience retail group Costcutter, which will see it become the exclusive supplier to 2,200 stores across the UK, effective from spring of this year.
Meanwhile, in October, the Co-op made a £137.5 million offer to acquire Nisa, which operates a network of over 3,000 member-owned convenience stores across the UK. The deal was approved by Nisa’s members, however, it is still awaiting approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.
“The Co-op is positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector,” said Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food. “Our food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market.”
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.