The Co-operative Group is turning 54 former Marston’s pubs into c-stores as the convenience channel continues to grow at the expense of rivals. 

The major multiples opened 291 convenience stores in the past year and BWS sales in this channel are up 6.1% in volume and 9.1% in value (IRI, year to March 1).

CAMRA took a swipe at the grocers for turning 208 pubs into c-stores since 2012, but with a dozen closing per week the major retailers are fighting to snap them up.

In total New River, which bought 202 pubs from Marston’s in November 2013, is developing almost 200,000 sq ft for c-stores, ranging from 3,000 sq ft to 4,500 sq ft.

The leases run for 15 years.

New River still has 148 former pubs to play around with and said: “The remaining part of the portfolio will be conventional conversions from public house use to C-Stores, or redeveloped as standalone convenience retail stores.

“New River will undertake all planning, development and contract requirements to deliver the end product to The Co-operative Group. It is expected that the majority of the completed assets will be delivered within two years.”