THE Co-operative Group has announced a series of retail acquisitions, including stores in Northern Ireland, Scotland and South East England.
A 3,300 sq ft market town supermarket opens in Tandragee in Northern Ireland this week following a £ 300,000 revamp. The former Spar store employs 22 staff and provides a Post Office service.
Another recent Northern Ireland acquisition is a Costcutter convenience store, Post Office and petrol station in Linn Road, Larne. The 5,000 sq ft store, which employs 44 staff, is set for a £ 250,000 refit.
Northern Ireland Co-op chief officer John McNeill commented: "This is a substantial investment for us in Larne and demonstrates our commitment to growing our business in the town which we have served for many years.
"We are also delighted to bring a co-operative presence to Tandragee and I am confident both stores will make a significant contribution to our business."
The Group will further invest £ 200,000 in upgrading a former 1,700 sq ft Costcutter, acquired in Aberchirder in Scotland.
"This is an excellent business that has been built up by a local family and we are looking forward to enhancing the service to the village with an improved range, promotional offers and the Dividend scheme," said Scottish Co-op chief officer Ken MacKenzie.
In the South East, the Co-operative Group has acquired a 2,700 sq ft Nisa store in Swanscombe. Employing 18 staff, the store will be converted to a Co-op in the new year.