UNITED Co-operatives has acquited the Quality Fare chain of food stores, and, in a separate deal, two filling stations with c-stores.
The latest deals come only a fortnight after the announcement of United's acquisition of the 12-strong Neighbours chain of convenience outlets and takes the number of food stores run by the country's largest independent co-op past the 500 barrier.
The deal for the North East and Yorkshire based Quality Fare chain brings 19 more stores and 300 staff into the fold at United. The petrol station c-stores will add to the society's growing portfolio of such outlets.
Earlier this year, United's Chief Executive, Peter Marks, launched an aggressive acquisition programme across the group's range of businesses. Commenting on the acquisitions, he declared: "In April I said we had £ 100 million to spend on excellent businesses that will add to our unbroken 10 years of success.
"Since then we have been working on a number of major acquisitions which will do precisely that and I am delighted that we have made Quality Fare our latest major buy.
"From Thirsk in the south to Amble in the north, Quality Fare is a family business whose shops meet our demands and fit our profile perfectly. Now each store will be refurbished to our highly successful convenience store format.
"My message to other retailers in the Midlands and North of England is clear ? if your standards are high and you are thinking of selling your business, come and talk to us first and become part of a great success story. We have an enviable reputation for investing in the businesses we acquire and we believe passionately in looking after customers and staff."