Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Co-op announces new £5m ‘Food Town’ store

In a £5m investment, the Co-op is planning a major new supermarket in Castle Douglas, Scotland's first 'Food Town.'

Lothian Borders and Angus Co-operative Society (LBACS) said it intended to open the new purpose-built store, next to its current site in Cotton Street, in 2007 subject to planning consent.

“This substantial investment reflects our continuing commitment to Castle Douglas, where we have been trading for almost 100 years, and the outstanding loyalty of customers who have stayed true to us since Tesco opened a store in Castle Douglas in March,” Galashiels-based Society Chief Executive Bob Jamieson commented.

He added that the development is key to the continuing strength of Castle Douglas town centre, launched two years ago as a 'Food Town' featuring local produce.

Mr Jamieson said that despite Tesco's arrival, the great majority of the Co-op's customers had continued to shop there. “We are determined to keep offering people the best possible choice,” he commented. “Not everyone wants a Tesco and we will continue to offer the Co-op difference.”

The new supermarket will sell the same range of products, including fresh and chilled foods, as the existing 15-year-old outlet which employs around 100 full and part-time staff.

The Chief Executive said the decision to build the new supermarket on its adjacent car park rather than re-furbish the existing store had been taken to avoid disruption to customers during construction work. The Society hopes to complete building some seven months after planning permission is granted.

The Co-op has been in Castle Douglas since 1910 with the present store having been opened in 1991. “We have been providing a service to the town for almost 100 years and intend to keep doing so,” Mr Jamieson commented.

Gordon Wilks, the Society's Development and Property Controller, said the new store would be built to the latest exacting standards, using the best available technology, and take into account environmental concerns.


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