The Co-op has announced it will open 100 new food stores during 2019 as part of a £200m store investment programme.
The retailer said the combined £200m store investment programme could lead to around 1,500 new local jobs, and added that in addition to the openings, it will also provide “major makeovers” to a further 200 stores.
Around one-third of the community retailer’s 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 661,000 sq ft distribution depot located just off the A1 in Bedfordshire, which 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, with the retailer also “on track” to open 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 in 2019 – 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.
Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, said: “Shifts in consumer shopping trends has 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.”