The Co-operative Group opens its first store on The Strand in Central London today, marking a step change for the food retailer.
Based at 456-459 The Strand, the outlet is part of the organisation’s new focus on city centre locations.
Commercial Director of Food at Co-op Sean Toal told Retail Gazette that The Strand store is “very different” to the other shops the company has opened in the past and could set the standard for other yet-to-be opened London outlets.
Merchandise sold at this particular Co-op will range from normal goods to London-specific products that will appeal to the high number of tourists who pass through the area.
Speaking at the launch of the Co-op’s new corporate responsibility programme last week, Toal said there will also be a huge focus on serving the region’s many office workers who flock to the street and surrounding areas on their lunch breaks.
Co-op announced last year that it hopes to open more than 300 new food stores by 2013, which will see the retailer’s food acquisition team double in size over the next 12 months.
Following the opening of The Strand store, located in WC2, Co-op now has a food outlet in every postal area of the UK, which is indicative of the retailer’s rapid growth across the country since it acquired Somerfield in 2009.
Commenting last November, group CEO Peter Marks said: “The store on The Strand - just down the road from Buckingham Palace - will give us unique coverage across the UK.”