Co-op store openings accelerate

Nicola Knight
Senior Analyst - Food-To -Go

Date : 07 September 2020

Co-op will open more than three stores each week until December as plans to serve new neighbourhoods accelerate.

The convenience retailer will launch over 65 stores new and extended stores, with more than 100 further outlets receiving major makeovers as part of a £130M store investment programme creating up to 1,000 local jobs – this is in addition to the more than 1,000 permanent roles that came from temporary jobs created to keep communities fed during lockdown.

All new Co-op stores run on 100% renewable electricity. The retailer currently operates over 2,600 food stores.

More franchise and NISA stores

In addition, up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are also set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University – with more university locations planned for 2021. Students who are TOTUM cardholders - the new name for NUS extra – gain a 10% discount off groceries at the Co-op.

In addition, during the first half of 2020, 304 new stores joined NISA with around 90% of all Nisa retailer’s now stocking Co-op own-brand products.

Making convenience more convenient

As well as connecting to more communities by opening new stores, Co-op has recently launched several new services aimed at meeting consumer demand for ease, choice and added services which deliver compelling convenience for communities. 

  • This month sees Co-op’s partnership with John Lewis Click & Collect service exceed 500 Co-op stores.  Co-op stores act as micro-distribution hubs for its online on-demand convenience offer, with stores benefitting from an uptick in increased online demand by up to 10-15%. 
  • Co-op is now the most widely available supermarket on the Deliveroo App with over 400 stores making deliveries in as little as 30 minutes. It has expanded its own online shop ( ) at pace, and offers a click and collect service in as little as two hours to provide a quick, safe and easy shop locally where customers can be in and out conveniently.
  • In addition to the local partnership trial with delivery app Buy Mie in Bristol, Co-op has this week launched a partnership with start-up Pinga to offer zero-emission online grocery deliveries conveniently across East London. Over 500 Co-op products will initially be available through Pinga’s App serving up to one million people living close to Hackney, Stepney and Stoke Newington. Once an order has been placed, grocery items are selected by a ‘Pinga Partner’ – who are vetted and trained local people - and delivered to the customer’s door in 90 minutes or less, mainly on foot, electric scooter or bicycle 
  • Lockdown learnings will see Co-op’s new Community Shopping Card available for use in all stores – allowing friends, relatives, neighbours or volunteers to shop on behalf of someone who is vulnerable and self-isolating.
  • Co-op’s Food Share scheme enables all stores to work with local not-for-profit organisations, minimising food waste and distributing food to those in need in communities.

David Roberts, Managing Director, Co-op Property, said: “Co-op works to operate at the heart of local life, making a difference in its communities. Multiple factors motivate consumers, with ease, choice and added services chief among them. We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community – closer to our Members and customers with proximity shopping a key consumer consideration. Co-operation is a fundamental part of our DNA, and through our partnership approach we are enriching our offer to make convenience truly compelling in our communities.”

Continuing sales growth

The Co-op as benefitted from a growth in local shopping since the UK went into lockdown in March. According to Kantar’s latest grocery market share data, Co-op sales increased by 22.4% in the 12 weeks to 9 August – the second-fastest growth by bricks-and-mortar grocers, behind Iceland, which grew by 29.2%.

Want to know more?

  • Visit the Co-op retailer hub page here
  • Read the Strategic Outlook for Co-op 2020 here (Retail Analysis subscribers only)

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