MIDLANDS Co-op has acquired three purpose-built supermarkets from food retailer Budgens for an undisclosed sum.
The supermarkets are in Carlton-in-Lindrick, Nottinghamshire; Stretton, Staffordshire and Desborough in Northamptonshire and brings the total number of Midlands Society food outlets to 148.
Each of the new stores covers between six and eight thousand square feet and will offer a full range of fresh food; non-food items; grocery; bakery; lottery, and cash point facilities. The 100 staff from the stores will transfer employment to the Co-op.
The stores became available as a result of Budgen's strategy of franchising to independent operators and selling off a limited number of its stores.
A Midlands Co-op spokeswoman said the society became interested in the outlets because of their locations, within its trading area.
The Carlton-in-Lindrick store will transfer to Midlands Co-op next week and will re-open two days later following a re-branding exercise, restock and induction and training of staff.
The other two stores will follow similar timetables. Stretton will transfer to the society on October 11th, re-opening on October 13th and Desborough will change hands on October 18th, re-opening two days later.
Midlands Co-op Chief General Manager John Fitzgerald says he is delighted the negotiations with Budgens have gone so smoothly.
He commented: `We are always on the look-out for opportunities to add to our existing store portfolio and these three new stores will further enable the Midlands Co-op to strengthen its position in the community.`
In addition to the three acquisitions from Budgens, work has started on a store replacement at Kibworth Beauchamp in Leicestershire and the society currently has planning applications in place for schemes in Brandhall, Oldbury and Eccleshall, Staffordshire.