Scottish co-operative Scotmid plans to more than double the number of bakery counters in its stores this year, working in partnership with local bakeries. 

The retailer, which has around 350 outlets, has already set up 40 bakery counters in conjunction with local independent bakers and plans to add another 50 by April 2014. Scotmid chief executive John Brodie said he was keen to add bakeries to all 190 of its food stores in the longer term.

Six award-winning Scottish bakeries are working with Scotmid on the project, including Stephens the Bakers, J G Ross, Aulds, Goodfellow & Steven, Stuart’s of Buckhaven and The Breadwinner.

“The partners we have chosen have a really strong quality bakery offer and it allows them a route-to-market they might not otherwise have given their scale,” Brodie told The Herald newspaper. “It also gives us a real point of difference in-store.”

Scotmid has rolled out its new Premium Fresh store format, which includes an extended range of fresh produce and locally sourced products. The new concept store has been launched in 10 locations in Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow and Aberdeenshire, with more to follow. It follows a successful trial in Warrender Park, Edinburgh.

A trial of a new ‘community value’ format store has also commenced, with a pilot store in Prestonpans, Edinburgh, which stocks new product ranges from local and Scottish suppliers, more £1 products and a larger range of value products.

“The main focus of the business is to develop and create ‘points of difference’ in our stores taking the best of the Co-operative Retail Trading Group and then using our local skills and knowledge to tailor our stores to get the best for our customers in the communities we serve,” said the retailer in its interim report for the year ending 25 January, 2014.

The Scotmid group made an operating profit of £2m in the 26 weeks ended 27 July, 2013, down £0.1m on the same period last year. Turnover fell from £211.1m to £209.8m.