The Co-operative Group is flying through store conversions in the wake of its acquisition of Balfour, Alldays and Conveco.
The society expects to open its first refitted Conveco store in Bristol on November 11, following the acquisition of the c-store group in May.
It hoped to refit five more by 2005. It added it had sold 14 Conveco stores in Plymco’s territory to the fellow co-operative retailer, as planned.
Aside from the integration of Conveco, John Bowes, the Co-operative Group’s chief general manager for strategy, said: “We have refitted 290 Alldays stores and aim to refit another 50 by the year-end. That would give us 100 left to be refurbished.”
Almost all the remodelled stores have been transformed into Welcome c-stores, apart from two which have adopted the Market Town format.
Bowes added: “We have also refitted 18 Balfours as Welcome, with 18 more refits planned before the year-end. That will leave 69 left to be converted.”
In keeping with the Welcome format, all the refitted outlets have strong fresh food offerings which have led to sales hikes.
Bowes said: “Most Alldays and Balfour stores sold little fresh food, so they have seen a substantial increase in fresh.”
Revamped stores also have a strong ready meal offer.
Alldays’ Movie Nights video rental business is being rolled out to existing Co-operative Group and Balfour stores undergoing refits. A total of 89 Co-operative Group stores and 16 Balfour stores now incorporate the offer.