The Co-op has announced it is building a new distribution centre to support an £11 million store expansion programme in Scotland.
The 12,000 sq ft development at the Inverness Airport Business Park (IABP) will replace the existing distribution site at the Dalcross Industrial Estate in the city.
This year the Co-op has opened six new stores in Scotland, with plans for a further 11 by the end of the year, to increase total stores numbers north of the Border up to 360.
Andy Perry, the Co-op’s logistics director, said: “This new distribution centre is both a great indication of how well our food business is performing, as well as a symbol of our commitment to communities in the north of Scotland.
“With ambitious plans to continue to open new stores, the site will ensure we can continue to serve communities for decades to come.”
James Campbell, IABP chairman, said: “Securing the Co-op as our anchor tenant very much sets the tone for what we are looking to achieve at IABP. This will be a superb distribution facility that will deliver improved operating efficiencies and enhanced business performance for the Co-op.” Last month, the Co-op said sales of Scottish products across its stores had risen by 33 per cent year-on-year. The biggest increase has been seen in bakery goods supplied by businesses including Glasgow-based McGhee’s and Aberdeenshire’s Murdoch Allan.
Prepared meals, including Bells Pies and McIntosh of Strathmore’s ready meals, also saw strong gains along with drinks from brands including Aberdeen’s Fierce Beer and Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gin. The Co-op carries almost 2,000 Scottish lines in its stores.