UNP Co Op 45578 Rachel Hargreaves030

Co-op has hired Rachel Hargreaves to bolster its property team.

Hargreaves will join from Lidl GB where she was regional head of property. At The Co-op she will take up the newly created role of director of property, development and estates. She will report into Co-op group property director Heather Thomas.

The society said Hargreaves would be tasked with “ensuring Co-op is front of mind for landowners, developers and agents as the go-to convenience operator for new retail floor space”. This would apply to either freehold or leasehold sites for Co-op’s own operations or locations for its franchise business.

She will also lead on developing new initiatives to “maximise the potential of the retailer’s existing portfolio of properties”.

“I am thrilled to join Co-op at such a key time. Co-op is an iconic British household name that is marking its 180th anniversary, and it is clear the importance of co-operation in communities across the UK could not be more relevant today,” said Hargreaves.

“This is an exciting opportunity, with Co-op focused on delivering increased value for its member-owners and well placed to target additional growth through its core business areas.”

Thomas added: “With our stores located at the heart of local community life, we are planning for the future with a focus on growing our business for our member-owners, and enhancing the value we deliver to them and their communities – whether that is acquiring new space or maximising the potential of our existing estate.

“Rachel brings a wealth of experience and joins us at an exciting time as we continue to put in place the building blocks for our strategic growth plans across our Co-op.”