Co-op buys up new food stores
ONE of the biggest supermarket names in the region has made a major purchase after buying 20 new food stores. The East of England Co-operative Society has made the investment as part of a major development programme launched in October which has seen a new £1.
ONE of the biggest supermarket names in the region has made a major purchase after buying 20 new food stores.
The East of England Co-operative Society has made the investment as part of a major development programme launched in October which has seen a new £1.8million store in Ipswich opened as well as other extensions and revamps to existing sites in the town.
The 20 new stores, all previous Anglian Convenience Stores in Norfolk, take the company's total portfolio to 137 outlets in the region.
Richard Samson, chief executive of the East of England Co-op said: “We are delighted to have secured this important local chain of convenience stores, which has been successfully developed in recent years under its present ownership.
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“They are complementary to our existing food store network and will enable us to bring our wide product range and competitive prices into a number of additional neighbourhoods and villages in Norfolk.
“Once we have re-branded the stores as East of England Co-op food stores, our Society's Members will be able to share in the profits of their local stores, and we will be pleased to offer Co-op Membership to the many thousands of local customers already shopping there.
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“This is a major acquisition for the Society of one of the UK's 40 largest independent food store groups and we look forward to welcoming around 350 new employees to the East of England Co-operative Society.”
The newly acquired stores are in Norwich, Lowestoft, King's Lynn, Caister-on-Sea, Clenchwarton, Beccles, East Dereham, Heacham, Hellesdon, Harleston, Long Stratton, Martham and Wymondham.
The current development programme involves around £40million being allotted to upgrade existing businesses and acquire new ones, and is the largest programme ever planned by the Co-op in East Anglia.
Major developments currently underway include the new £10million Co-op Supermarket and retail centre in Colchester, which is expected to open around Easter and work to build a new store in Coggeshall, Essex, began in January.
Meanwhile the food store at Rosehill, Ipswich, has been extended by around 50 per cent and was re-opened as a Co-op Supermarket in January.
During 2006 a new £1.8 m food store was opened at Ravenswood, Ipswich.
Also in Ipswich, a food store was acquired in Norwich Road and another food store was rebuilt in Foxhall Road in addition to various other store improvements across the region in recent months.