MANCHESTER, England, 2015-11-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Co-op this week opened its 110th new convenience store in 12 months when it launched a new store in central London.
The new shop in Shepherds Bush is part of an ambitious store development program that will see a further 120 stores opened in 2016.
David Roberts, Director of Estates Services, said: “The Co-operative Food has a clear and exciting vision which is to establish itself as the number one convenience store operator, providing a strong customer offer in communities across the UK. As part of this strategy our acquisitions and refit programme is fundamental to its success.
“In the last 12 months we have carried out over 110 new store launches and over 250 store refits, investing millions in the estate. 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.
“Whilst other retailers are scaling back their expansion plans or exiting the convenience sector, the Co-op continues to open new stores.”
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 changes which is seeing more people shopping little and often, conveniently – shoppers buying for tonight, or for the next two or three, days, rather than shopping for the week or month.
Many people, living busy lives, decide what to eat just a few hours in advance, spontaneous shopping and a shift in social and lifestyle agendas has led to a growing number of people planning meals less and turning to shopping little and often.
The convenience market is currently worth £37.7bn and is projected to grow by 17 per cent to be worth £44.1bn in 2020, increasing its share of the total market from 21.2 per cent in 2015 to 22 per cent in 2020.
SOURCE: Co-operative Group Limited