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Co-op to create 1,600 jobs in 100 new food stores in 2018

PUBLISHED: 10:13 02 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 02 January 2018

The Co-Op. Picture: DIMITRIS LEGAKIS/ATHENA PICTURES

The Co-Op. Picture: DIMITRIS LEGAKIS/ATHENA PICTURES

Athena Picture Agency Ltd

One hundred new Co-op food stores are set to open in 2018.

The retailer will invest more than £160m in the venture, which will create 1,600 jobs, and also plans to give “major makeovers” to a further 150 outlets.

More than 20 new stores will open in London, with other English cities including York, Plymouth and Bristol also set to see openings.

The news follows the announcement of an agreement for the Co-op to become the exclusive wholesale supplier to the 2,200 Costcutter Group stores, and a deal to buy Nisa Retail, which is conditional on Competition and Markets Authority approval.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food said: “The Co-op is positively responding to the changes occurring within this dynamic sector. Our food business is going from strength to strength in what is clearly a challenging retail market.

“We have the ambition for our stores to be at the heart of local life, bringing communities together and offering our members and customers great quality products when and where they need them.”

Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, said the expansion plans for 2018 mean the Co-op is on track to have opened at least 100 new stores for three consecutive years.

“The Co-op’s extensive acquisitions and refit programme is a fundamental part of our food strategy,” he said.

“With over one million new active members joining us in the last year, we are always looking for new locations to get closer to where our members and customers live and work and to meet their shopping needs conveniently.”

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