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Co-op Appoints Director of Property, Development and Estates

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Rachel Hargreaves has joined Co-op from Lidl Great Britain as Director of Property, Development and Estates as the convenience retailer drives strategic growth plans.

Reporting to Group Property Director, Heather Thomas, Hargreaves will focus on ensuring Co-op is at the forefront of landowners, developers and agents minds as the go-to convenience operator for new retail floor space – whether freehold or leasehold sites for Co-op’s own operations, or locations for its growing franchise business which enables Co-op to bring its products and the benefits of membership to more communities.

Rachel brings a wealth of experience and joins us at an exciting time as we continue to put in place the building blocks for our strategic growth plans across our Co-op.

Her new role also includes directing and leading on new initiatives to maximise the potential of the retailer’s existing portfolio of properties.

As Regional Head of Property at Lidl Great Britain, Hargreave oversaw the implementation of the German retailer’s expansion strategy in the United Kingdom, including the appraising, budgeting, planning and co-ordination of the delivery of a five year plan of acquisitions, construction, asset and estate management.

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She says: “I am thrilled to join Co-op at such a key time. Co-op is an iconic British household name that is marking its 180th anniversary, and it is clear that the importance of co-operation in communities across the UK could not be more relevant today. This is an exciting opportunity with Co-op focussed on delivering increased value for its member-owners, and well placed to target additional growth through its core business areas.”

Thomas adds: “With our stores located at the heart of local community life, we are planning for the future with a focus on growing our business for our member-owners, and enhancing the value we deliver to them and their communities – whether that is acquiring new space or maximising the potential of our existing estate. Rachel brings a wealth of experience and joins us at an exciting time as we continue to put in place the building blocks for our strategic growth plans across our Co-op.”

Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer-owned co-operatives. Its Member-owners own the business and play an intrinsic part in the governance of the organisation, enjoying a wide number of benefits including member-only pricing across everyday essentials and personalised offers via the Co-op Membership app.

In addition to Food, Co-op has interests across funerals, insurance and legal services, and alongside a clear focus on increasing the number of its member owners from 5 million to 8 million, by 2030, Co-op is targeting additional growth through its three core business areas of Food Retail, Business to Business (B2B) and Life Services.

Earlier this month the group reported substantial membership growth, with over one million new members joining Co-op in 2023 and momentum continuing into 2024 and now standing at 5.2 million active member-owners. It is focussed on increasing the number of member-owners to eight million, by 2030. In 2023 its Group revenue was £11.3 billion, and its Food Retail revenue was £7.3 billion, with Food underlying operating profit for 2023 increasing 11% year-on-year to £154 million (2022: £139 million). Online sales continued to grow in 2023, reaching £311 million (2022: £222million), and Co-op secured top position in the quick convenience market in the second half of last year (Neilsen). Co-op aims to grow its overall quick convenience (ecommerce) market share to 30% in the next four years – its online model sees groceries picked fresh in local stores and delivered quickly and conveniently in the community.

For more information about Co-op and the benefits of membership, visit www.coop.co.uk/membership

Landowners, developers and agents can contact the Co-op Property Team via [email protected].

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Staff Reporter

FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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  • Staff Reporter

    FMIndustry.com covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

    View all Articles

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