By Amelia Cargo, Communications and Content Manager Co-op Property
Our Co-op hit the headlines last week, with the news that we’ve opened 30 new stores in November and December, investing £25 million and creating up to 500 new jobs for local people in the process.
These stores are part of a much wider investment that we’re making across our store estate this year: either opening new Co-op or relocating, refitting or extending new ones.
But the numbers only tell part of the story, I wanted to tell you more about the stores and the stories behind them.
We opened more stores than anyone else
This is a trend that we’ve seen for a few years now. This year we’ve opened 242 new Co-ops, creating 1,200 new jobs and total investment of £190 million.
We’ll continue to invest in new stores in great locations over the coming years, so we can get closer to what our customers need and care about.
We opened a new store in a location suggested by a member
Lower Marsh Lane’s Co-op in west London is serving its community thanks to one of our members. He told us about the location through the suggest a site scheme.
We opened our first ‘On The Go’ store in London
It’s the second one we’ve ever opened after Manchester Piccadilly’s Co-op. It caters for busy people who are looking for something quick and tasty to eat, either straight away or later the same day
We relocated one of the oldest stores we have
We’ve had a shop in Milborne Port, Somerset, since the 1900s. It’s one of the communities we’ve served the longest. We’d outgrown the building, and we knew we could serve the community better, so we found a bigger, better home for our store.
We’ve opened stores in unique buildings
This year we’ve opened store in an old railway arch and Longwood Garden’s Co-op in north London, was a derelict pub before we took it over. We kept the bar and made a feature out of it.
We gave space to local good causes
When we refitted Long Buckby’s Co-op in Northamptonshire we turned some overgrown outdoor space into a community garden for local people to enjoy. This was part of our Endangered Spaces campaign and a great example of another way in which we give back to communities.