United Norwest Co-op is offering to pay suppliers a bounty of £1,000 for tip-offs that lead to store acquisitions. General manager Paul Griffiths told an audience of 700 at its annual supplier conference: "We will pay £1,000 for every c-store lead that results in completion. "We are hungry to grow our estate. This year we are aiming to acquire groups and at least 13 individual stores to add to our current 331." Griffiths revealed United Norwest would be investing £14m in its estate this year. He said it plans to refit another 80 c-stores to the Late Shop format, to add to the 120 already converted, and to build two new model Late Shops. A new 18,000 sq ft model food market will be built at Harwood. He also revealed a perpetual inventory system has been introduced into United's larger stores and would be rolled out to 100 c-stores during the year. Kim Mawby, general manager trading, told suppliers: "We will be scanning all goods as they come in the back door, and data integrity will be crucial." She said inaccuracies in bar coding would lead to deliveries being refused and possible charges. She added: "If you continue to get admin wrong we will delist you. Our business will be systems driven." Mawby said United was looking to work much more closely with its main suppliers, and had already carried out a pilot scheme with Birds Eye Wall's. She said they had agreed a joint three year business plan, and worked so closely that staff from United Norwest and BEW who worked on the account were responsible to both Mawby and BEW sales director Tony Pearce. Mawby said United wanted to agree joint strategies with about 30 of its leading suppliers. {{NEWS }}