The Co-op Group has announced plans to open 100 new food stores and revamp 200 existing sites in 2019 as part of a £200m investment programme.

Around one-third of the new stores are planned for London and the South East, while over 40 new or improved stores will launch in Scotland this year. The Co-op also plans to open at least 10 new stores in Wales.

Last month the Co-op announced it had agreed terms for a new 661,000sq ft distribution depot located just off the A1 in Bedfordshire, aimed at supporting its growth in and around the M25 belt. It is expected to open in 2022.

It will be the fourth consecutive year that the group has opened 100 new stores or more, with a focus on key city centre locations, transport hubs, university campuses and new communities in high rise residential developments. The stores all have a focus on fresh, healthy foods, food-to-go, meal ideas and essentials.

The Co-op’s director of portfolio and development, Stuart Hookins, said: “Shifts in consumer shopping trends has seen ease, speed and convenience continuing to rise in importance for time-pressed shoppers.

“The right location and range tailored to fulfil the shopping needs of a community is a cornerstone of our approach, and there has been an evolution in how we choose new locations and, innovate our offer.”

New London stores are set to include: Berwick Street, Soho; Chiswick; Greenwich; Ilford; Queens Park, as well as new food-to-go format stores at Baker Street Station and in a railway arch at the Minories.

In Scotland new sites include Alford, Aberdeenshire; Banchory, Edinburgh; Falkirk; Forres; Galston and Glasgow. In Wales, new stores are earmarked for Cardiff; Carmarthen; Hendreforgan; Machen; Pen Y Groes; Prestatyn and St. Athan.