Frozen ready meals retailer Cook is to double store numbers to 30 by the end of 2006.
Its 15th shop opened in Brighton last week, and outlets in Windsor, Battle, Loughton and Winchester are also being lined up, with plans to acquire six outlets this year and up to 10 more next year.
After the launch of its first store in 1997, Cook - one of The Grocer’s ‘Bubbling Under’ retailers sitting just outside the Top 50 independents - opened one or two shops a year until last year, when five stores were acquired.
That was the start of a faster rate of expansion, according to director Edward Perry, and building work on a new kitchen facility in Sittingbourne has just started to provide the extra production space needed.
Perry said: “Now we have the right people in the right jobs we can up the pace.”
New initiatives include ‘Launch Pad’ - from next month five new, improved or promotional products will be displayed weekly in special freezers. In response to demand for everyday products, two new ranges have been introduced - family meals for less than £10 and dinner for two for less than £6. The retailer has also reduced prices by up to £1 per item after being able to negotiate better terms.