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Co-op ramps up store opening drive

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The Co-operative Group last week opened its fourth food store in the space of a month.

Now the UK’s fifth largest grocer, since its 2008 acquisition of Somerfield, the retailer opened the doors to a new outlet in Chislehurst, Kent on Thursday.

Local schoolchildren helped Store Manager Alfred Kwatchey with the cutting of the ribbon.

Spanning 3,000 sq ft of retail space, the grand unveiling comes in the wake of Co-ops arriving in Cheadle and Stockport in Greater Manchester, and East Craigs, Edinburgh in the lead-up to Christmas.

The quartet of new grocery outlets have created around 80 UK retail jobs in total.

Stuart Hookins, The Co-operative Food’s Head of Portfolio, said the store opening programme is an example of the company’s ambition.

“Our four latest acquisitions are in just the kinds of locations that we’re looking for, stores in the hearts of local communities, on popular high streets and commuter routes,” he explained.

“We are determined to continue our growth and will be opening many new stores throughout the UK during 2011.”

The Co-op announced last month that it has signed an agreement with The Crown Estate to open a store on The Strand in central London in February 2011.

At the time of the statement, the company revealed that it plans to expand its presence in the capital further and wants to open in more city centre locations across the UK.

Published on Tuesday 21 December by Editorial Assistant

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