The Co-op has won a deal to convert 54 Marston’s pubs into convenience stores across the country after signing an agreement with New River Retail.

In the last 12 months the group has opened 291 convenience stores, and sales in this channel were up 6.1% in volume to March 1.

Most of the pub sites are in central, eastern and northern England, and the will be at the heart of the Co-op’s plans to open 100 more c-stores this year.

Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-operative Food, said: “Our focus is on convenience stores and more away from larger stores, as we look to highlight our strengths and consolidate our position as number one in the competitive convenience market.”