The Co-operative Food has confirmed a more than £11M investment programme in Wales this year designed to create ten new stores and, provide major makeovers for more than a dozen other stores.
The community retailer – which is investing to transform and grow its convenience business – is expected to open its first new Welsh store of 2016 in Heywood Lane, Tenby, this May.
The Co-op has invested close to £600,000 to fit out its latest food store, it will have a focus on fresh, healthy foods, meal ideas and essentials. An in-store bakery, hot food, ATM and a Costa coffee dispenser will further enhance the in store experience for shoppers.
In addition, the appointment of a Community Pioneer will underpin the Co-op’s commitment to playing its part and making a difference in the local community.
Community Pioneer is a member of the food store team who also works to foster involvement in community activities such as local fundraising initiatives and working with local charities, schools and voluntary organisations to make a difference in the community. The Community Pioneer, along with the new store manager – Carole John - will also lead the store’s support for the British Red Cross, the Co-op’s new charity partnership which will help to tackle social isolation and loneliness in Welsh communities.
Oliver Huntley, Area Manager for The Co-op, said:
“The Co-op is investing to transform and grow its convenience business and, we are delighted to be opening the Co-op’s first new Welsh store this year here in Tenby, it really is an exciting time for the whole team.
“The store will have a fantastic look, it represents a significant investment which has created around 15 retail roles - we are delighted to have the opportunity to serve the local community. We are confident that the store will be a real asset to the community. As a community retailer, and a co-operative, it will play its part in local life and we look forward to welcoming the community into their new local Co-op.”
There will be offers and promotions in and around the store to mark its launch. Students in Tenby – who hold a NUS extra card – also receive a 10% discount off their groceries in the store.
The Co-op has this month (March) announced an investment to lower the price of over 200 of its own-branded British meat and poultry products. Its annualised investment in lowering prices will this year top £200M. By the end of the year, The Co-op will have reduced prices on over 1,000 everyday essentials including pruning the price of over 100 lines of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The Co-op is the fastest growing non-discounter food store according to retail industry data released by Kantar Worldpanel last month (February) - the community retailer has grown its Loved by us and Truly Irresistible own-label sales by 7%, with sales of fresh and chilled produce growing fastest.
Matthew Speight, Managing Director for the Co-op in Wales, added:
"The Co-op has a proud heritage stretching back over 150 years and its investment to transform and grow its convenience business is building momentum for the future. Such a significant investment in Wales will create new and improved stores, more jobs and, more partnerships with local suppliers which can boost local economies. We are also investing in lower prices and, as a community retailer and a co-operative, our aim is for each store to be at the heart of its community and to make a difference locally.
“Consumer shopping habits are changing, shoppers are moving away from doing one big shop to buying what they need when they need it, conveniently. With a store in every postal area, in the heart of communities, the Co-op is uniquely placed and, industry data is showing that our strategy is taking us in the right direction.”
Photo: Matthew Speight, Managing Director for the Co-op in Wales
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