The Co-op Group is set to open three new stores it recently acquired from Waitrose, as it moves closer to its target of opening 100 new stores in 2018.

The new stores are opening in key city centre locations on Friday (26 October) - one in Birmingham and the other two in Manchester.

The fourth store bought from Waitrose in June – in London’s Portman Square – is set to open at the beginning of November.

The Co-op Group confirmed it was on track to open 100 new stores in 2018, the third consecutive year it will have done so.

The new stores will offer a focus on fresh, healthy foods, coffee, in-store bakery, hot food, food to go, wines and essentials.

Co-op director of property portfolio and development, Stuart Hookins, said: “We are pleased to have been able to work with Waitrose to agree the purchase of four of its convenience stores.

“Our acquisition and refit programme forms a fundamental part of our food strategy – we are working to get closer to our members and customers, and we are continually looking for exciting new communities where our stores can be at the heart of local life – working to create stronger communities and offering great quality products conveniently, when and where our members and customers need them.”