The Co-op plans to open 100 new food stores during 2019 and give major makeovers to 200 stores. The retailer said the combined £200 million investment could lead to around 1,500 new local jobs.
Around one-third of the new stores are planned for London and the south-east. This move follows last month’s announcement that Co-op had agreed terms for a new 661,000sq ft distribution depot located just off the A1 in Bedfordshire. The new £45 million depot is intended to support the retailer’s continued growth in and around the M25 belt. It is expected to open in 2022, creating up to 1,200 jobs.
New London stores are set to include Berwick Street, Soho; Chiswick; Greenwich; Ilford; and Queens Park, plus new food-to-go format stores at Baker Street Station and in a railway arch at the Minories.
Over 40 new or improved Co-op stores will launch in Scotland including sites in Alford, Aberdeenshire; Banchory, Edinburgh; Falkirk; Forres; Galston and Glasgow.
In Wales, the Co-op has plans for at least 10 new stores with openings in Cardiff; Carmarthen; Hendreforgan; Machen; Pen Y Groes; Prestatyn and St. Athan.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Co-op has opened 100 new stores or more, including a focus on key city centre locations, transport hubs, university campuses and, new communities in high rise residential developments.
Co-op director of portfolio and development Stuart Hookins said: “Shifts in consumer shopping trends have seen ease, speed and convenience continuing to rise in importance for time-pressed shoppers. 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.
“Connecting communities and bringing people together is at the heart of the Co-op. Our strategy is to offer the products that customers want, need and care about, closer to where they live and work – with a focus on looking for new sites which support our ambition to operate at the heart of local life, and deliver our value and values which make a difference in our communities.”