Scottish retail chain David Sands Ltd has been acquired by The Co-operative Group.
The 28 stores, located in Fife, Kinross and Perthshire, were sold for an undisclosed sum.
The sale is expected to be completed in the next couple of months subject to a review by the Office of Fair Trading. Almost 700 David Sands staff will join the Co-op as part of the acquisition.
Co-operative Group chief executive Peter Marks welcomed the David Sands Ltd stores to the Co-op estate. “The Sands stores will be a valuable addition to our food portfolio as we forge ahead with our programme to grow the business by seeking new opportunities at the heart of local communities right across the UK,” he said. “Furthermore, this deal will significantly strengthen our position in Scotland, especially in Fife, Kinross and Perthshire, and complement our existing store estate, which operates from the Highlands and Islands to the Borders.”
“The Sands stores will be a valuable addition to our food portfolio as we forge ahead with our programme to grow the business by seeking new opportunities at the heart of local communities right across the UK.”
Peter Marks, Co-operative Group chief executive
Marks added that the acquisition wouldl help with Co-op’s target of adding 300 stores within three years.
Chief executive David Sands, who has been running the business since 1989, said he wanted the opportunity to spend more time with his family and that the acquisition would ensure a continued investment for the chain which was founded in 1812. He did not rule out a return to retail in the future.
“We believe that the acquisition of our business by The Co-operative Group, another responsible retailer, offers a fantastic opportunity for continued investment in our stores and our people, and a continued commitment to Scottish local communities, local produce and local suppliers.”
He added that David Sands Ltd was a perfect fit within The Co-operative Group. “There are many similarities and synergies between David Sands Ltd and The Co-operative – we share many of the same values including our commitment to supporting local suppliers – and I have every confidence they will continue to invest in, grow and develop our stores and our people in the future.”
HIM managing director Tom Fender praised the Co-op for its acquisition. “No chain has won as many Convenience Tracking Programme awards than David Sands Ltd and its shopper visit frequency is well above the industry average,” he said. “The chain also excels in staff up-selling to shoppers. The Co-operative Group has bought an excellent retail business.”