Grocery retailer The Co-operative Food has opened a new store in central London as part of its ambitious expansion plans.
The £600,000 outlet on Store Street is the third store from the mutual retailer to open in the capital in as many months, following the unveiling of a flagship store on The Strand in February and another convenience store opening in Wembley in March.
Co-op intends to open more than 300 new stores in the next three years, creating around 7,000 jobs, with around 50 of these properties starting to trade this year.
Andrew Coles, National Acquisitions Manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “These are exciting times for The Co-op Food, which is looking to expand the estate following the integration of the Somerfield estate.
“As a result, the property team is communicating with the retail marketplace more than ever before, and recently held an event in Mayfair for agents, landlords and developers, with further events of this kind planned later in the year.”
Nine new stores have opened since the start of 2011 and a further 21 contracts have been exchanged, with new outlets planned for Edinburgh, Glasgow, Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester and Swansea and other locations.
Former food retailer Somerfield was purchased by Co-op in 2009, making it the fifth largest grocer in the UK.
The deal has not been without controversy, with rival Haldanes announcing this month that it is taking legal action over the ex-Somerfield stores it purchased from Co-op after a ruling by the Competition Commission.