The Co-operative Group has acquired ten convenience stores from Sainsbury's.

Located in northern England and the Midlands, the former Bells and Jacksons stores will add 17,500 square foot of selling space to the retailer's portfolio.

Co-operative cheif executive Peter Marks said: "This is a significant investment in the region for The Co-operative and continues our ambitious programme of growth to sustain market leadership in the convenience sector.

"The stores have great potential and with the benefits we will bring, including our member 'share of profits' scheme, we would expect to add significant value to the businesses."

The company revealed today (28 March) that it will invest GBP2.5m (US$4.97m) in rebranding and refurbishing the outlets.

It is expected that the acquisition will be completed in the next six weeks and the stores will be converted to the Co-op format by the autumn.