The Co-operative Group is continuing its expansion in London with a new four-strong team of acquisition managers.
Previously covering North London, Rob Tindale will now cover Camden, the City of London, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster with the objective of finding new premises for the Co-op’s food stores in Central London.
There are now three new patches in London, with the acquisition posts filled by internal candidates. Martyn Clarke will now cover North and East London, Chris Barter will cover West London, and Craig Smith will focus on South London.
Rob Bignold, head of acquisitions and new store development at the Co-op Group, said: “Strategically, London is a really important area for us. We made some fantastic gains in 2015, opening and contracting on close to 60 stores in London and the South East. The new team will help us build on the success, setting us up for significant growth over the next year and beyond.”
The Group is looking to expand its food retail offering. It has declared its intent to open at least 100 new stores during 2016, to add to the 2,800 it already has.
In addition to searching for brand new premises, the Group recently bought 15 Budgens food stores from Booker Group, the UK’s largest food wholesaler, which also owns Londis.
Chief executive for retail, Steve Murrells, said: “Co-op Food continues to go from strength to strength, with […] a vision to establish ourselves as the number one convenience store operator. “Our acquisitions programme is fundamental to the success of this strategy”.
- This article was amended on 24 March 2016 to clarify that Mr Tindale was already working at the Group, and that three new posts in London have been created.