The Co-operative Group has brushed aside fears of economic turbulence with the announcement that its programme to rebrand all of its food stores will continue in 2009.

The Co-op met its target of refitting 700 stores in 2008 and plans to revamp a further 700 in 2009.

“This is no mean achievement and arguably represents the biggest refit programme undertaken by any food retailer in a single year,” said Co-op managing director of food retail Tim Hurrell.

Hurrell added that the refitted stores had shown like-for-like sales growth of 13% in the third quarter of 2008.