The Co-operative Group has acquired 10 London-based Costcutter stores for an undisclosed sum of money.

The food retailer said the stores, previously owned by the Sunstar Group and Tothaal Group, will start trading as Co-operative food stores before Christmas and will undergo a refit thanks to a £3m investment.

Steve Murrells, chief executive of food retail at The Co-operative, said: “This acquisition marks another important step in our plans to expand and follows our acquisition of the David Sands chain in Scotland earlier this year and the opening of a large number of new stores across the country.

“These stores are in excellent locations across central and Greater London and they will complement our existing store network in the capital and will be valuable additions to our portfolio.”

The Costcutter outlets are based in Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Brentford and currently employ around 180 members of staff, all of which will be offered the opportunity to transfer to The Co-operative.

The firm has said it is particularly focused on expanding in the capital and actively acquiring stores, either leasehold or freehold, in high street and local community locations.

The Co-operative currently operates 4,800 retail outlets employing more than 100,000 people, and has reported an annual turnover of more than £13bn.