Central England Co-operative plans to open 10 new stores and funeral homes and revamp dozens more as part of an investment plan for 2018.
The project will lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs across its trading estate of 16 counties. The society will open new stores and funeral homes in Birmingham, Peterborough, Yorkshire, Derby, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, and Nottingham. In addition, 10 stores and 20 funeral homes across different areas will be given a makeover.
Commenting on the investment plan, chief executive Martyn Cheatle, said: “We are really proud of the success of our food business, especially with our continued good performance in what is a highly competitive and increasingly uncertain trading environment.
“We want to continue with that success and this is why we are committed to an ambitious growth and investment strategy during the next 12 months.
“We are now in the process of getting ready to open and revamp dozens of food stores and funeral homes and we cannot wait to welcome colleagues, members and shoppers, both old and new, into them for the first time during 2018.”
The new sites will have energy efficient refrigeration technologies and LED lighting to minimise the co-op’s environmental impact.
To celebrate the opening of the new food stores, Central England is planning a giveaway where 50 shoppers will win prizes and hundreds of pounds in vouchers. In addition, the society runs a Community Dividend Fund, which last year enabled 122 groups in the local community get funding for their projects, which helped them pay for various items, such as defibrillators or school equipment.