The Co-operative Group has opened it’s 110th new convenience store in 12 months.
The new food store in Shepherds Bush is part of an ongoing development programme that aims to establish the organisation as the number one convenience store operator. A further 120 stores are scheduled to be opened in 2016.
“In the last 12 months we have carried out over 110 new store launches and over 250 store refits, investing millions in the estate,” said David Roberts, director of estates services.
“While other retailers are scaling back their expansion plans or exiting the convenience sector, the Co-op continues to open new stores.”
“It’s comfortably the biggest store opening programme the business has undertaken. We have a particular focus on London and the South East, which is an area that presents numerous exciting opportunities for expansion – and our plans address this.
The Group has also invested £1.5m in North Wales, opening three stores in three weeks.
Stores mapped by Kat Rose, Co-operative Group member, using data provided by the Co-operative Group
The convenience market is currently worth £37.7bn and is projected to grow by 17% to be worth £44.1bn in 2020, increasing its share of the total market from 21.2% in 2015 to 22% in 2020.
Rob Bignold, Head of Acquisitions and New Store Development at the Co-op, said, “These are exciting times for our acquisitions team as we continue with our ambitious plans to expand our store estate. As a community retailer we are uniquely placed to engage with local people throughout the planning process.
“With an even bigger target for store openings in 2016, we are actively seeking freehold or leasehold sites, including existing businesses, right across the UK. We are flexible in our requirements and offer quick decisions to agents, developers and owners.“
The Co-op is responding to the consumer change which is seeing more people shopping little and often.
Co-operative Food’s Back to the Future report, released in July, showed that shoppers are now moving back to the way consumers used to shop for food before the advent of large supermarkets, fridges and microwaves. Figures from the report show that almost half of the nation (48%) say they no longer do a big weekly shop, with 35% tending towards a ‘grazing’ shopping mentality, shopping for food several times a week.