Midlands Co-op is pumping £14.7m into a major refurbishment programme this year to remodel 28 stores in its 129-strong estate. Changes will vary from site to site, but most revamped stores will get a significant boost to their fresh and chilled offer, new fixtures and fittings, and an instore bakery, said retail operations controller Tony Carroll. Signage will also be upgraded across the estate, with all stores badged as Superstore, Supermarket or Village Store. Stores in Birmingham, Derby, Northamptonshire and Chesterfield have seen sales rocket between 12% and 70% post-refurbishment, justifying the expense, added Carroll: "The figures speak for themselves." A new store will open in Anstey, Leicestershire, in November and a further seven sites are under negotiation. l Last week Department of Trade & Industry secretary of state Patricia Hewitt officially opened a 42,000 sq ft Midlands Co-op chilled distribution centre in her Leicester constituency. {{NEWS }}