Co-operative Food leases 54 pub sites for convenience stores
The Co-operative Food has signed an agreement to lease 54 pub sites as part of plans to open more than 100 new convenience stores across the UK this year.
The retailer has acquired the leases from the Marston’s public house portfolio which is owned by New River Retail.
Situated throughout the UK but with a concentration in Central, Eastern and Northern England, the majority of stores will be new-build projects constructed on surplus land adjacent to the existing public houses. A smaller number of pubs will either be converted to convenience store use or redeveloped as standalone convenience retail stores.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of The Co-operative Group’s retail division, said: “The Co-operative Group has a clear vision to establish itself as the best local food retailer in the UK and over the coming years our focus will be to develop and grow our existing convenience estate of over 2,000 stores.
“Our focus is on convenience stores and a move away from larger stores, as we look to highlight our strengths and consolidate our position as number one in the competitive convenience market. To do this we are investing in our stores to ensure that the product offering, the service and the prices appeal to shoppers.”
With the first store expected to open in early 2015, finished unit sizes will range from 3,000 sq ft to 4,500 sq ft.
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