Co-op to dish-up more than three stores a week to serve new neighbourhoods

Picture by Chris Bull/UNP

Co-op is set to dish-up more than three stores each week until December as plans to serve new neighbourhoods accelerate.

The convenience retailer will launch over 65 stores new and extended stores, with more than 100 further outlets receiving major makeovers as part of a £130M store investment programme creating up to 1,000 local jobs – this is in addition to the more than 1,000 permanent roles that came from temporary jobs created to keep communities fed during lockdown.

Further, up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University – with more university locations planned for 2021.

In addition, during the first half of 2020, 304 new stores joined NISA with around 90% of all Nisa retailer’s now stocking Co-op own-brand products.

All new Co-op stores run on 100% renewable electricity, and its first new store to open post-lockdown saw Glastonbury Festival Founder, Michael Eavis take “centre stage” at the launch of a new store last month in Pilton, Somerset.

The role of the retailer is increasingly shifting to meet consumer demand for ease, choice and added services, delivering compelling convenience for communities. Research* shows, 70% of adults have relied on their local convenience store where they can shop quickly, easily and safely, with shoppers popping to their local store more than three times each week on average. The friendliest shoppers were shown to be from Newcastle**, with almost two-thirds on first name terms with store workers.

  • This month sees Co-op’s partnership with John Lewis Click & Collect service exceed 500 Co-op stores.
  • Co-op stores act as micro-distribution hubs for its online on-demand convenience offer, with stores benefitting from an uptick in increased online demand by up to 10-15%.
  • Co-op is now the most widely available supermarket on the Deliveroo App with over 400 stores making deliveries in as little as 30 minutes. It has expanded its own online shop ( coop.co.uk/shop ) at pace, and offers a click and collect service in as little as two hours to provide a quick, safe and easy shop locally where customers can be in and out conveniently.
  • The Co-op was the first UK retailer to use autonomous robots to deliver groceries, and has announced local partnership trials with Buy Mie (Bristol) and, has this week launched a partnership with Pinga in East London.

David Roberts, Managing Director, Co-op Property, said: “Co-op works to operate at the heart of local life, making a difference in its communities. Multiple factors motivate consumers, with ease, choice and added services chief among them. We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community – closer to our Members and customers with proximity shopping a key consumer consideration. Co-operation is a fundamental part of our DNA, and through our partnership approach we are enriching our offer to make convenience truly compelling in our communities.”

Association of Convenience Stores Chief Executive, James Lowman, said: “Convenience stores have firmly established themselves as a place that local communities can rely on, not just for groceries but for a growing range of services that have kept the nation going during the last few months. This commitment to investing in stores in the coming months is testament to the importance of the convenience sector and the role that local shops play in people’s everyday lives.”

Lockdown learnings will see Co-op’s new Community Shopping Card available for use in all stores – allowing friends, relatives, neighbours or volunteers to shop on behalf of someone who is vulnerable and self-isolating.

Contactless payments are set at £45 to make shopping faster, easier and safer.

And, Co-op’s Food Share scheme enables all stores to work with local not-for-profit  organisations, minimising food waste and distributing food to those in need in communities.

Students who are TOTUM cardholders – the new name for NUS extra – can pocket a 10% discount off groceries at the Co-op.

Co-op operates over 2,600 food stores, and is owned by around 4.6M active Members. Alongside Food, it operates: Co-op Funeralcare, Insurance, Health and Legal Services.

More information about the Co-op is available by visiting https://www.coop.co.uk

Members of the public can let Co-op know of sites where they would like to see a new Co-op serving their community at https://www.coop.co.uk/suggest-a-site

* The research for Co-op was carried out online by Opinion Matters throughout 14/08/2020 to 17/08/2020 amongst a panel resulting in 2,030 UK adults responding. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

**According to research by Co-op, people in Newcastle most likely to be friendliest and on first name terms with shop workers in their local food store of any City in the UK.

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