The Co-op has agreed to buy four Waitrose convenience stores that have been earmarked for closure by the John Lewis Partnership.
The group announced on Wednesday that its profits would be close to zero this year, and said five Waitrose stores would be closed, putting 187 jobs at risk.
The following branches were named as being set for closure: Spinningfields, Manchester; Manchester Piccadilly; Colemore Row, Birmingham; Portman Square, London; and Camden, London.
Stuart Hookins, Co-op director of property portfolio and development, said: “We are pleased to have worked 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. Our aim is for stores to be at the heart of local life, creating stronger communities and offering great quality products conveniently, when and where our members and customers need them.”Meanwhile, Aldi is taking on the site in Camden, and plans to open its 37th store within the M25 by spring 2019.
Graham Hetherington, Aldi regional managing director, said: “The Camden store is an opportunity to reach customers in a busy London borough, many of whom may not have experienced Aldi’s award-winning, quality products at unbeatable prices before.
“We expect details of the agreement to be finalised in autumn and work will then begin to refit the store with a view to opening in spring next year.”