co-operative store

The Co-operative Group is reported to be looking to offload 300 stores that don’t fit its convenience model.

According to Sky News, it has brought in Rothschild to help find buyers for the stores as it continues the turnaround of its food retail business.

The Co-op Group estate includes about 700 non-convenience stores. It is also in the process of selling some 50 larger food stores it inherited from Somerfield.

It declined to comment on the latest numbers speculation or the involvement of Rothschild.

At the annual results last week, retail boss Steve Murrells said it was always talking to people about its property portfolio.

“We’ve got a large portfolio of assets at nearly 3,000 of our own stores: we are by far one of the largest property businesses in retailing terms and, therefore, those conversations take place very regularly.”

Its stated aim is to open about 100 new stores in 2016 while closing others that are too big or uneconomic.

In its annual statement, group CEO Richard Pennycook said it was adapting to customers’ changing shopping habits.

“Most people want to buy little and often these days. In 2015, we opened 97 new stores and closed 91 other sites. The Co-op now has just over 2,100 convenience stores and will continue to open more while closing some of our larger stores.”