The Co-operative Group will soon have a food store operating in every postcode in the UK when it opens a new premises in The Strand, London.

The site in WC2 is the only postal area in the country in which the Co-operative Food is not yet operating.

Group chief executive Peter Marks described the feat, which will probably be achieved in February, as a milestone.

However, passing it would not see the group's progress slow, Marks added.

"The Somerfield integration programme is due to be successfully completed by the first quarter of next year, but we have no intention of resting on our laurels, and the store on The Strand will give us unique coverage across the UK," he said.

The London outlet is part of the Co-operative Group's plans to open more than 300 food outlets over the next three years. The group's expansion plan will focus on city centre stores, and particularly in London, where it wants to significantly increase its presence.

The Co-operative Group also plans to double the size of its food stores acquisition team during 2011.