Co-op unveils new store opening and refit plans

The Co-op is to open 100 new food stores across the UK in 2018, as well as provide a “major makeover” for another 150 of its outlets.

The retailer revealed that it will invest over £160 million across the refurbished and freshly opened stores, in a move which will also create an estimated 1,600 jobs.

More than 20 of the new shops are set to open in London, and up to 18 stores are planned for Scotland. Wales will see 10 openings, while other new outlets are lined up for the likes of Bristol, Leicester, Manchester, Nottingham, Southampton and York.

The news follows announcements last month that Co-op is to become the exclusive wholesale supplier to Costcutter’s network of 2,200 stores, and that members of Nisa Retail voted in favour of the Co-op’s offer to buy the delivered wholesale and convenience retail specialist – a move which is conditional on Competition and Markets Authority approval.

Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, 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.”

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, added: “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.”

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