Central England Co-operative has revealed it has invested over £15m and created dozens of jobs as part of “ongoing efforts to improve the experience of customers during 2017”.
The society says it opened eight new food stores and five new funeral homes last year, as well as relaunching over 15 funeral sites and over 20 convenience stores.
The major development programme has seen individual areas such as Leicestershire and Derbyshire receive more than £2m in investment, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire more than £1.5m and Cambridgeshire nearly £1m.
The new sites use the latest energy efficient refrigeration technologies and LED lighting to minimise environmental impact.
Anyone who visited a new store on launch day would have taken part in a special Golden Ticket Giveaway, which saw 500 people walk away with prizes ranging from 50 inch televisions to co-op vouchers.
Sharmon Crescent store manager Samantha Clarke said: “All of us here at Central England Co-operative food stores are proud to be part of such great communities and are looking forward to welcoming all customers, old and new, to come and enjoy our new and revamped food stores.”
Funeral director Dave Manser said: “Our first priority is to enhance memories and love for all of our families and we are very pleased to offer that at all of our funeral homes.
“We feel they reflect our commitment to providing excellent standards of care for our families during their time of bereavement.”
Further investment is planned during 2018.
Customers and members will also be able to enjoy a range of community benefits as a result of the society’s investment, with 122 groups shared over £200,000 during 2017.
The fund guarantees that at least one per cent of the Society’s trading profit is reinvested in local communities in a bid to help projects to thrive across its trading area.