the co-op

The Co-operative Group has announced another round of store closures - selling six stores and closing another.

The society has sold five stores in Scotland - Aberdeen, Annan, Montrose, Polmont and Whitburn - to Aldi, and a store in Houghton-le-Spring to Lidl. It has also announced plans to close its store in Fallings Park, Wolverhampton.

Vowing to ditch its larger stores to focus on convenience, the society last month revealed it had sold 37 larger stores in the year to 3 January, leaving it with 717 supermarkets and 2,079 c-stores.

Chief executive Richard Pennycook estimated 50 to 75 larger stores a year would close, but said the Co-op was not in a hurry to dispose of them as he wanted to achieve a fair valuation. He also insisted he did not plan to sell them all because “a number work well for us”.

On the latest closures, a Co-op spokesman said: “The Co-op Group’s strategy will see us continue to invest in the portfolio through the acquisition of 100 new convenience stores this year. This approach includes selling a number of larger stores.”