The Co-op now has a food store in every UK postal area after it opened its £1m flagship shop on the Strand, London.

The opening is part of the grocer’s ambitious expansion plans; it aims to open more than 300 stores over the next three years and is targeting city centre locations.  

The Strand flagship, which is open 24 hours a day, claims to be the first convenience store in the UK to be 100% illuminated by energy-saving LED lighting, which saves 35% on lighting energy consumption.  

The Co-operative Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “The Strand - just down the road from Buckingham Palace – will give us unique coverage across the UK and reaffirms our position as the UK’s number one community retailer.”   

Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The Co-op is the UK’s 5th largest food retailer with nearly 3,000 stores.