Co-op Creates 1,000 Jobs and Opens 50 New Stores in UK as HighStreet Retailers Lay off Staff

The Co-op has said it will create 1,000 jobs as it opens 50 new stores, becoming the latest supermarket to expand during the coronavirus pandemic.

THE company said the jobs will be spread across the new shops and another 15 stores that will be expanded as part of a €145m (£130m) investment. Another 12 franchised stores, run with Co-op branding but owned by others, are also in the pipeline for 2020. More than 50 of the new stores will open by the end of the year, in areas including Wrexham, London, Poole, Leeds and Guildford.

It is the second time the Co-op has embarked on a hiring spree. Earlier this year it gave permanent jobs to 1,000 of the 5,000 workers brought in to cope with an increased workload at the height of the UK’s lockdowns. Lockdowns have meant adults have relied on their local convenience store for food and other items in recent months, the Co-op said. Its online shop has also been expanded in a similar move to M&S who has partnered with online food specialist Ocado.

The high street retailer acquired a 50 per cent share of Ocado’s UK’s online retails business for €840m (£750m) in the deal announced in February last year, which follows the end of Ocado’s 20-year partnership with Waitrose. M&S had promised to ‘transform’ online grocery in the UK when the partnership was revealed.

Hight street retailers in the UK have experienced their worst period in decades. Some have closed forever and others have laid off hundreds and sometimes thousands of staff.

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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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