The Co-op has announced plans to open 100 new food stores this year in a concerted push to grow its convenience offering.
The grocery retailer said it would also renovate 200 existing stores.
Approximately one-third of the 100 new stores will be located in London and the South East.
New locations that have been earmarked in London include Soho, Chiswick, Greenwich, Ilford and Queens Park.
Meanwhile, it is planning to open new food-to-go format stores at Baker Street station and in a railway arch at the Minories.
The Co-op added that Scotland will soon have more than 40 new or improved stores and at least 10 new stores are planned for Wales in Cardiff, Carmarthen, Hendreforgan, Machen, Prestatyn and St Athan.
The retailer said the new stores will be in key city centre locations, transport hubs, university campuses and new communities in high rise residential developments.
”The right location and range tailored to fulfil the shopping needs of a community is a cornerstone of our approach, and there has been an evolution in how we choose new locations and innovate our offer,” The Co-op’s portfolio director Stuart Hookins said.
“This year will be the fourth consecutive year of opening around 100 new stores, and investing in a core convenience estate which has seen over four years of consecutive like for like sales growth.”
The news comes after the Co-op announced last month that it had agreed terms for a new 661,000sq ft distribution depot in Bedfordshire to support its growth in and around the M25.
The new facility is expected to open in 2022.
The combined £200 million store investment programme could lead to the creation of around 1500 new jobs.