Southern Co-operatives is continuing its aggressive expansion plans by buying former Woolworths sites.

The society, which has more than 100 food stores in Hampshire, Berk­shire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex and Wiltshire, is understood to be eyeing sites in its trading area.

It is already negotiating with the landlord of a former Woolworths store in Romsey, Hampshire, and other sites are expected to follow.

Last month, the society snapped up 13 stores from c-store operator Nearby Stores, which went into administration in December.