Co-op is set to create 1,000 local jobs as part of a major store investment programme.
The supermarket chain will launch 65 new and extended stores in the coming months, as well as makeover more than 100 of its existing stores, as part of the £130m investment.
Up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are set to launch this year, including sites at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University, with more student locations being targeted for 2021.
The investment comes as convenience retailers such as Co-op are ‘‘increasingly shifting to meet consumer demand’’ for delivering convenience goods following lockdown.
David Roberts, managing director of 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.”
He added: ‘‘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.
“Cooperation 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.”
James Lowman, association of convenience stores chief executive, 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.”