Central England Co-operative has agreed the transfer of six branches of Thomas Cook to join its retail network.

Branches based in Central England Co-op food stores in Atherstone, Oakham, Stirchley, Castle Donington, Glenfield and Ibstock will move over to Central England Co-Operative in early October.

It means the number of shops operated by Central England Co-Operative rises from 20 to 26.

All agents employed at the transferring shops are in talks about moving over with the branches.

Paul Dale, head of specialist business at Central England Co-op, said: “This is great news for customers, colleagues and members and we are delighted to announce the expansion of Central England Co-operative Travel from 20 to 26 branches.

“This will now mean that we will be able to offer even more people a wide choice of products from a variety of tour operator partners across more locations than ever before.

“More customers and members will now be able to book their travel and holiday arrangements with our highly-skilled colleagues while enjoying membership benefits and all in the convenient surroundings of one of our local food stores.”

Central England Co-operative chief executive Martyn Cheatle added: “We are delighted to announce that we have acquired the six travel branches from Thomas Cook.

“This will now mean we can showcase the expertise of our travel colleagues to more customers and members and continue to offer a vital service to our local communities.”

As well as having talks with the agents currently working in the Thomas Cook stores, Central England Co-Operative is actively recruiting for new roles at the branches.