Sean Toal, general manager for retail operations at United Co-op, said: “We will have refurbished all the stores before Christmas, bar one, which we are planning to extend.”
When the extension of the flagship store in Tarporley, Cheshire, is completed, it will offer a broader product range, focusing on an enhanced fresh food offering, in particular hot food to go, said Toal.
The first of the revamped stores opened three weeks ago and Toal said sales there had so far exceeded expectations.
United Co-operatives has also recently re-opened the first of 19 refurbished Leathley’s Quality Fare stores in Bedale, North Yorkshire. The shop cost £500,000 to renovate.
The society acquired the chain in August and Toal said all its stores would be integrated by the beginning of the summer.
He added that in addition to the retail chains it had bought in 2004, there were a large number of single-store acquisitions awaiting board approval during 2005. United Co-operatives’ total food retail estate currently stands at 510 stores, which includes forecourts.