The Co-op will launch a raft of outlets this month as part of a multi-million-pound investment programme set to create up to 60 jobs across Scotland.
The grocery chain is due to open its doors at seven new Scottish stores in November, representing a £4.4m investment in its footprint north of the Border.
Co-ops will launch in Stornoway and Stirling on 15 November, before opening a new Edinburgh site on 22 November. Launches will follow at Galston in East Ayrshire, Barrachnie in Glasgow, Wemyss in Inverclyde and Forres in Moray on 29 November.
The food giant has pledged that its new stores will run on 100 per cent renewable electricity and sell compostable carrier bags which can also be used as food waste caddy liners.
Derek Furnival, Co-op’s divisional managing director, said: “Our sustained investment in Scotland is indicative of the long and proud history we have here and we’re delighted to be able to open yet more stores in such a diverse range of locations.
“With more than 360 Co-ops in Scotland – that’s one in every postal area – which together employ around 6,000 colleagues, we are able to give our customers and members the opportunity to buy what they want, when they want it, in great looking stores that also give back to the local community.”
Rising food sales
The retailer said its new openings will also bring a funding boost for good causes in their respective communities through its membership scheme, which in the last six months returned £6m to local initiatives.
This comes on the back of continued growth in the retailer’s food division, which saw sales in its supermarkets and convenience stores jump 3 per cent to £3.7 billion in the half-year to 6 July.
On a like-for-like basis the rise was 1.7 per cent, against tough comparisons last year which included the Fifa World Cup.
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Group turnover was £5.4 billion, an increase of 12 per cent, with a full contribution from its Nisa business. The Co-op bought Nisa’s wholesale arm in 2018 for £143m and supplies some 4,000 stores with its own-brand products.
The latest grocery market share figures from Kantar found that Co-op has enjoyed continuous growth since May 2018, with year-on-year growth standing at 4.4 per cent in the 12 weeks to 3 November.
Head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said: “Co-op welcomed an additional 274,000 shoppers through its doors in the past 12 weeks – fruit and vegetables proved particularly popular as fresh produce sales increased by 10 per cent.
“The retailer stayed true to its convenience-focused roots as chilled items like pizza grew by 8 per cent, helping to increase its market share to 6.5 per cent.”
The insights group reported that year-on-year supermarket sales overall grew by 1 per cent to 3 November.