The Co-operative meets refit target

18 December 2008

The Co-operative Group has met the ambitious target it set itself for 700 food store refits during 2008, at a cost of £200 million.

The Co-operative Food store in Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon, has become the 700th food store to be refurbished by the Group, as part of the largest re-branding exercise in UK corporate history.

The store, which has undergone a £700, 000 refit, now features the consumer-owned Group's new identity, The co-operative, which aims to highlight improved service standards across its 4,200 outlets in the UK, including its travel, pharmacy, funerals and bank branches, as well as its commitment to ethical trading policies and supporting local communities.

Peter Marks, Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, praised the hard work and commitment of everyone within the Food Retail team on reaching this milestone.

He commented: “This is no mean achievement, and arguably represents the biggest refit programme undertaken by any food retailer in a single year.   We set ourselves an ambitious target, but we have achieved what we set out to do, without taking our eye off the ball.”

He said the food business had enjoyed its 11th successive quarter of like-for-like sales growth, with refitted stores showing like-for-like sales growth of around 13 per cent.

And he pledged the pace would not slacken in 2009 when another 700 food stores would be refitted and brought up to brand standards at a cost of £180 million, thereby completing the roll out of the brand to the existing food estate. 

The re-brand coincides with a revival in the fortunes of The Co-operative Group, which in July 2007 merged with United Co-operatives to create the world’s largest consumer co-operative and now boasts 3.1 million active members.