Co-op is set to dish-up more than three food stores each week until December as plans to serve new neighbourhoods accelerate. The convenience retailer will launch over 65 stores new and extended stores, with more than 100 further outlets receiving major makeovers as part of a €145m (£130m) store investment programme creating up to 1,000 local jobs. Further, up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University – with more university locations planned for 2021. In addition, during the first half of 2020, 304 new stores joined NISA with around 90% of all Nisa retailer’s now stocking Co-op own-brand products. All new Co-op stores run on 100% renewable electricity, and its first new store to open post-lockdown saw Glastonbury Festival Founder, Michael Eavis take “centre stage” at the launch of a new store last month in Pilton, Somerset.
David Roberts, Managing Director, Co-op Property, said: “Co-op works to operate at the heart of local life, making a difference in its communities. Multiple factors motivate consumers, with ease, choice and added services chief among them. We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community – closer to our Members and customers with proximity shopping a key consumer consideration. Co-operation is a fundamental part of our DNA, and through our partnership approach we are enriching our offer to make convenience truly compelling in our communities.”
Association of Convenience Stores Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “Convenience stores have firmly established themselves as a place that local communities can rely on, not just for groceries but for a growing range of services that have kept the nation going during the last few months. This commitment to investing in stores in the coming months is testament to the importance of the convenience sector and the role that local shops play in people’s everyday lives.”