The Co-operative Group is doubling its acquisitions team as part of ambitious plans to open 300 new stores over the next three years.

The society currently has around 30 people working in its food acquisitions, location analysis and construction teams but wants to increase this to around 60 to hunt out new sites.

The society has around 40 city centre sites but is keen to increase this number because of the high footfall city centre stores generate. Its flagship city centre store, at its Manchester HQ, opened in 2007 and combines a Co-op bank with a c-store.