The Co-operative To Open 100 New Food Stores In 2019
UK retailer The Co-operative is planning to open 100 new food stores during 2019, as it seeks to grow its convenience portfolio.
As well as the new openings, the Co-op will undertake major makeovers for a further 200 stores, as part of a £200 million investment plan.
The retailer said that the investment plan will lead to the creation of around 1,500 new jobs.
Around a third of the new openings are set for the London area and the south east of England, and follow on from the announcement that the retailer had agreed terms to develop a new 661,000 square foot distribution centre, located in Bedfordshire.
This new facility, which will cost £45 million to develop, will support the retailer's growth in and around the M25 belt, the retailer said. It is scheduled to open in 2022.
The group also recently opened a new distribution centre in Dalcross, at the Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP), which is set to provide the benchmark for a further store expansion in the Scottish Highlands in the coming years.
“Shifts in consumer shopping trends has seen ease, speed and convenience continuing to rise in importance for time-pressed shoppers," commented Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development.
"The right location and range tailored to fulfil the shopping needs of a community is a cornerstone of our approach, and there has been an evolution in how we choose new locations and, innovate our offer. This year will be the fourth consecutive year of opening around 100 new stores, and investing in a core convenience estate which has seen over four years of consecutive like for like sales growth."
Hookins added that the retailer's strategy is to seek out sites that enable it to "operate at the heart of local life, and deliver our value and values which make a difference in our communities".
The Co-op has seen its membership grow to more than 4.65 million people since it relaunched its rejuvenated brand in September 2016, while also increasing its funding for local causes.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.