The Co-op has announced plans to invest more than £240m into its membership model in a bid to slash prices for customers.

The c-store specialist, which operates more than 2,400 stores and 800 funeral homes, announced the five-year investment plan as part of its broader turnaround efforts under group chief executive Shirine Khoury-Haq.

It said the new funding will be used to introduce new and lower prices, which will only be available to Co-op members.

Around 4.5 million people are currently Co-op members and the c-store specialist said it hopes to grow this number by a further million customers over the next five years.

The changes come as rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s have launched offers only available to its Clubcard and Nectar loyalty scheme members respectively.

Co-op members will initially see benefits across food – with savings of £1.90 for ready meals, wine deals and money off British BBQ lines and fresh fruit.

The retailer will invest a further £15m to reduce the cost of 60 popular product lines for members and non-members, taking the total investment in price to £52m for the past six months.

Co-op chief membership and customer officer Kenyatte Nelson says: “Our members lie at the heart of our Co-op, they trade more frequently across our business areas, they create additional value, which is returned back into communities and they have a say in how our Co-op operates.

“Our initial member investment will be targeted within our food business and directly supports our pure convenience strategy.

“Currently around 16 million shoppers visit our stores each week or trade online with us.

“Our ambition is that many will convert to being Co-op members when they see the clear value this can bring to both themselves and their wider communities.”