Co-op to invest £160m in 100 new stores, makeovers in 2018

WCN Editorial Team 4 Jan 2018 EUROPE BUSINESS

Community retailer Co-op has decided to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018.

The company said it will invest more than £160m in new stores and makeovers for an additional 150 outlets.

While more than 20 stores are planned to be opened in London, 18 stores are planned for Scotland, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Forres (Highlands) and Kilmacolm (Renfewshire).

Ten new stores will be opened in Wales, of which Rhayader (Powys) and Bryncoch (Neath) will be the first, it said.

Stores will also be opened in Blackpool, Bristol, Chesterfield, Crewe, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, Plymouth, Southampton and York, among other towns and cities.

The Co-op will offer a range of fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas and essentials, in addition to own-brand and locally-sourced produce.

At the stores, Co-op members receive a 5% reward on buying own-brand products and services and the retailer donates a further 1% to local community groups. In 2017, the Co-op shared £20m with 8,000 local groups, charities and good causes.

In 2017, the Co-op announced an agreement under which it will become exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 stores across the Costcutter Supermarkets Group network from spring 2018.

The Co-op also offered to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist, Nisa Retail, subject to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) approval.

Co-op Food chief executive Jo Whitfield said: “The Co-op is positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector.

“Our Food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market. We have the ambition for our stores to be at the heart of local life, bringing communities together and offering our members and customers great quality products when and where they need them.”

Co-op’s director of portfolio and development Stuart Hookins said: “The Co-op’s extensive acquisitions and refit programme is a fundamental part of our food strategy.

“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.

“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 and to meet their shopping needs conveniently. Our members are now telling us where they would like to see a new Co-op store opening to serve their community through our suggest-a-site website.”

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