Co-op confirms 2019 plans, including 100 new food stores supported by the development of a new distribution centre in Bedfordshire. As part of its £200 million store investment programme, Co-op is planning to build on its convenience strategy by opening new stores and providing major renovations to around 200 stores.
Approximately a third of the new stores are planned to be in London and the South East. The new stores may also include new food-to-go style stores at key commuting locations. It is planned that more than 40 stores will open, or be upgraded in Scotland in 2019, and at least 10 stores in Wales.
New depot in South East
Co-op announced in November that it had secured space to develop a £45m distribution depot in Bedfordshire. It is expected that the depot will open in early 2022 and will support Co-op’s “ambitious growth plans” said Jo Whitfield, Co-op retail chief executive.
This follows the £6m distribution centre that was opened at Inverness Airport Business Park in August 2018. The Dalcross site is equipped to service double-decker vehicles, which could contribute to a reduction in wasted road miles and reduced CO2 emissions. The facility is well placed to deliver to communities in the north of Scotland.
Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s Director of Portfolio and Development, said: “This year (2019), will be the fourth consecutive year of opening around 100 new stores, and investing in a core convenience estate which has seen over four years of consecutive like for like sales growth.”