Scottish convenience store retailer David Sands has been acquired by mutual retail giant The Co-operative, it was announced today.
The 28-outlet family-run business, which was founded in 1812 and is now spread across the Fife, Kinross and Perthshire regions north of the border, will transfer across to the Co-op Group preserving 700 of the existing jobs.
Co-op has continued its expansion into Scotland over the last two months by opening eight new food stores, and the takeover of David Sands is part of a wider growth strategy which will see more than 300 new stores and 7,000 staff added to the business over the next three years.
Peter Marks, Group CEO of Co-op, said: “This major acquisition is another important step in our plans to expand The Co-operative Food estate.
“The Sands stores will be a valuable addition to our food portfolio as we forge ahead with our programme to grow the business by seeking new opportunities at the heart of local communities right across the UK.
Despite being the fourth largest food retailer in Scotland with 370 stores in the country, Marks believes this deal will “significantly strengthen” its presence in previously unrepresented areas.
Trading results for the four weeks ending December 31st 2011, also released today, show that Co-op Food sales rose 3.1 per cent like-for-like (LFL) compared to the same period last year but for a wider 13-week period to the end of the year LFL trading fell 0.2 per cent.
Across all its business areas LFL sales were up on last year, with online electrical trading and its motor trades division performing particularly strongly.
Marks commented: “These results represent an encouragingly good performance in the very competitive markets in which we operate and in continuing difficult economic times.
“Against the backdrop of financial pressures on household budgets our focus on quality and value and the fact that our food stores are located within communities struck a chord with customers.”