Midlands Co-operative Society is on the hunt for acquisitions to swell its food store estate.

The society, which is the UK's second-largest independent co-op operating across 11 counties, is keen to build on the foundation established by its merger with Raunds Co-op last August.

It has appointed Preet Gandhi as its new business development manager to grow Midlands Co-op's retail business through store and development site acquisitions. Gandhi said he would be looking for freehold or leasehold properties suitable for c-store use. His search would focus initially on Birmingham, Burton, Chesterfield, Derby, Ilkeston, Kettering, Leicester and Stafford, he said, adding that prominent suburban or large village locations would be ideal.

An international business graduate from the University of Manchester, Gandhi initially worked in student recruitment before gaining experience in acquisitions on behalf of a global blue-chip company.