The Co-operative Group has announced plans to increase investment in London this year, as it prepares to open a record number of 30 new food stores.

The group is also looking to refresh seven existing stores, as part of a £28m investment in the capital. The move forms part of the Co-op Group’s 2018 store expansion plans, which will see 100 new stores opened across the UK.

The retailer’s latest investment in the Greater London region will see new store openings in Walthamstow, Colliers Wood Station, Cricklewood, Colindale Station and Paddington. 

The new convenience outlets will focus on fresh lines, healthy foods, meal ideas and daily essentials.

A variety of local community groups will also recieve funding through the Co-op’s membership scheme, as a result of the new store openings. Members receive a 5% reward when purchasing own-brand products and services, with a further 1% going directly to local causes in the community. Last year, the Co-op Group donated £20m to 8,000 causes across the country.

The Co-op’s divisional managing director Peter Batt said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for the Co-op in London as we gear up to launch and refit a record number of stores across the capital. As well as being hubs for the local community, our stores are committed to providing a consistently brilliant in-store experience, allowing customers living in busy urban areas to get what they want, when they want.

“We’re very proud of how much we’ve achieved last year and our membership message really seems to be striking a chord with shoppers. We now have over 330,000 members in the capital who together have helped us to raise almost £3m for 1,000 good causes since we launched our new membership scheme last September. Just by swiping a membership card, people can make a real difference to local life and become a co-owner of their local Co-op.”

He added: “Our new store launches and refits, together with our ever growing range of locally-sourced produce and increasing member numbers put us in a strong position for the future as we look towards further expansion in 2019 and beyond.”