YO! to expand partnership with Co-op to 160 stores

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Major move into retail continues for sushi chain hit by COVID-19.

In a press release on Wednesday, YO! writes that it is to expand its partnership with retailer Co-op to supply YO! To Go products in 160 of its stores nationwide from October.

The rollout follows a trial in Co-op’s London Moorgate store which launched in January.

YO! announced in August that it will shut down 19 restaurants causing the loss of 250 jobs as part of a company-wide restructure due to “changes in consumer behaviour” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

YO!’s growth into retail channels, includes pre-packaged sushi in 400 Sainsbury’s stores and 100 David Lloyd Leisure Centres. The group’s Taiko brand is also available in Waitrose. In addition, the YO! Group has 52 kiosks in Tesco stores and 30 kiosks under the Panku brand in Asda.

YO! Managing Director of Retail David Hampton said: “Expanding our partnership with Co-op is another important milestone as we progress our multi-channel, multi-brand strategy. Our mission is to increase the availability of high-quality, Japanese food across the UK and broadening our retail offer so that there are more ways consumers can try our food and products is a fundamental part of achieving this.”

Yo! Sushi was founded in 1997 and currently has 59 restaurants and 10 concessions in the UK. Cooke Aquaculture Scotland is YO!’s UK supplier.