Picture of the entrance to Chiswick High Road's Co-op

Tony Hind is Head of Acquisitions and New Developments. His team’s job is to help us serve more communities by opening new Co-ops up and down the country. We caught up with Tony on a record-breaking year for the team and why investing in new stores and funeral homes is still really important for the future of our business.

Getting more people to try our fantastic products and services is a really important part of our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities ambition. One of the ways we’re doing this is by opening new Co-ops in communities across the UK.

This year, we’re investing over £160 million in 100 new store and 150 refits. Our new shops will create around 1,600 new jobs for local people and will offer delicious food, right round the corner from where our customers and members live and work.

Hampstead Garden Suburb's Co-op entranceThis is actually the third year in a row that we’ve opened 100 new stores, and we’re going to do it all again over the next few years. The convenience market continues to grow, so we need to grow with it. Opening new shops is a really important part of our plan to become the number one convenience retailer in the country.

Funeralcare is growing too. We’ve opened 33 new or refitted funeral homes so far this year and around half of our estate is now in the new brand.

Choosing the right locations

2018 has been the strongest year we’ve ever had in terms of growing our food estate. We’ve opened 52 new stores and 73 refits so far, so are well on our way to meeting our target. Although we’ve got big plans for the whole country, London and the South East are important focus areas for us as that’s where the biggest potential for growth is. We’ve opened 13 new stores in the capital this year, with 17 still to go before the year is out.

We’ve spent a lot of time making sure we put the right stores, with the right products, in the right locations. Good sites are normally in highly populated areas, visible from the road and close to schools, transport hubs or other shops. We’ve crunched a lot of data and have now identified over 2,000 locations across the country that could benefit from a new Co-op food store.

The stores we opened last year made on average 15% more than the ones we opened in 2012, so that’s proof that what we’re doing is working. We continuously monitor how our new stores are doing and it makes me so proud to see all of our hard work paying off.

Getting closer to communities

Clarence Street’s Co-op York opened in March. It’s special because it was opened by the member who suggested the location to us. That, along with the recent refit at Danger Point’s Co-op, are just two examples of how we’re there for communities, often before the store’s doors are even open.

Tony

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Thanks to everyone who has commented. We’ve refitted over 350 stores over the last couple of years and well over half of our stores are now in the new brand. We’ll continue to invest in refits going forward and prioritise these based on a number of different factors.

    In terms of our new store programme, we’ve got a team of colleagues looking for new store locations right across the country. If you know of a great location for a new Co-op, visit our Suggest a Site website (coop.co.uk/suggestasite) and let us know about it.

    Amelia Cargo
    Communications Manager, Co-op Property

  2. It’s good to hear that Co-op Food is doing so well but what about the funeralcare 3 year plan for refurbishment that 2 years down the line isn’t happening. Funeralcare seems to have been forgotten. In this whole article funeralcare has only 2 lines of text! Wouldn’t it be better to make good what is already there before opening brand new stores.

    • Insurance has zero lines…

      • Why would it? Its an article about refitting food stores, as well as mentioning the number of funeralhomes that have already been rebranded. Insurance has nothing that is customer facing that needs rebranding or refitting. Whilst I may agree that Insurance is often forgotten in quite a few Co-op group articles, in this case it has no need to be mentioned

  3. I really think we should be prioritising old green facia stores for refits and rebranding for a couple of reasons.
    Its confusing for customers as they think there 2 separate cooperatives.
    Secondly,there are some stores crying out for a refit.
    Ive been in some,and I feel embarrassed.
    Some stores we have are so run down,i feel we are letting some of our loyal customers down.
    Have we set a deadline to convert all green facia stores to new blue?

  4. Any Plans to bring back Coop to Chester le street and durham area, after the closure of Birtley, Wrekenton and Stanley they are few and far between here now.

    • Agree Tony. I have always done one big shop a month at Co-op (admittedly on DD) but am now struggling as all stores in this area where you could park and use a trolley are closed (Birtley being most recent) so now my big shop spending has gone back to Sainsburys and Asda as I am not queuing up to get served at a kiosk with a trolley full of goods. Sad as I wanted to keep my sales in the Co-op. I wonder if we still have a Co-op in every post code?

  5. Two years ago all of us in Coop Funeralcare were told our funeral homes would all benefit from a refit. Apart from an updated funeralcare sign and a slap of paint outside we are still waiting. So food stores don’t get too excited about this news as your ‘refit’ may never happen. Perhaps an example of ‘over promise and under achieve’. Come on Coop it’s not just stores and funeral homes in large cities and towns that deserve some tender care and attention.

  6. South Ealing Road, W5 store (owned by the Co-op) there since the 30’s very profitable badly in need of refit. Refit could see it pick up even more trade.

  7. If you do 150 refits a year and there are 3,000 stores doesn’t that mean each store gets refit every 20 years? How long do fridges and freezers last.

  8. Any plans to bring a new Co-Op back to Failsworth or the surrounding areas in North East Manchester/ Oldham?

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Food, Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities

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