Co-op’s 200 store boost ‘good for suppliers’

By Nicholas Robinson contact

- Last updated on GMT

3,000 new jobs will be created at the Co-op
3,000 new jobs will be created at the Co-op

Related tags: Supermarket

The Co-operative’s plans to open 200 new convenience stores and recruit 3,000 extra staff can only be good news for food and drink manufacturers, a spokesman has said.

More than 200 new convenience stores will open over the next two years, as part of the company’s plans to grow its UK convenience offering.

​[The plans] underline the growth in the convenience sector, which must be good news for food manufacturers,” ​the spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

The Co-op, which already has 2,800 UK stores, said it would need at least 2,000 staff to man the new stores.

Further 1,000 staff

Co-op in numbers:

  • 3,000 new staff
  • 200 new stores
  • £125M investment in price cuts
  • 2,800 UK stores in total

A further 1,000 staff would be needed to meet demands at peak times, it said.

Steve Murrells, retail ceo, said: “We are making significant strides towards our ambition of becoming the UK’s leading convenience retailer.”

The drive follows research by the Co-op that showed 52% of customers no longer did a big weekly shop at a large supermarket, but did smaller ones throughout the week.

“The modern busy lifestyle is leading to more consumers adopting a grazing mentality which sees them shop in a little and often way each week,” ​Murrells added.

“These ‘grazers’ are leading a major shift in shopping habits, which marks a return to the way people used to shop before the advent of larger supermarkets and we are meeting these shopping needs by opening more smaller stores and ensuring we have stores staffed at peak times.”

£125M investment to cut prices

A £125M investment to cut the prices of everyday essentials was also announced.

Meanwhile, Morrisons said it was recruiting 220 new staff​ to work at its new fish production site in Grimsby.

The new facility, which covers 120,000m2​ and produces more than 250t of fish a week, was a former Kerry Foods site that had been closed since 2012.

Morrisons' head of seafood operations Rob Smith said: “We chose to expand our seafood operation in Grimsby because we know there is a talented and knowledgeable workforce in this area that we are keen to attract.”

Thinking of a new career in food and drink manufacturing​, visit FoodManJobs where there are thousands of opportunities on offer.

Related topics: Ambient foods

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