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FSP’s retailer of the month– Co-op: low profile or key retailer?


Posted At: 20 June 2011 10:38 AM
Related Categories: Co-operative Retail, Retail, Retailers, Social Commentary


Do you think of Co-op as a bit of a low-key, low-profile, retailer with little to offer? If so, read on…

Having reviewed the news reported on Co-operative Group we believe that the retailer has now upped its game considerably, with well stocked aisles, fresh food and pleasant staff.

With the purchase of Somerfield in 2008, Co-op became the fifth largest grocer in UK and with the recent acquisition of several London stores (including the flagship store on The Strand in February and another convenience store opening in Wembley in March), nine new stores have opened since the start of 2011 and a further 21 contracts have been exchanged. Guess what, it doesn’t end here, the retailer intends to open more than 300 new stores in the next three years, creating around 7,000 jobs, with around 50 of these properties starting to trade this year.

To crown the expansion strategy, the flagship store on The Strand gave Co-op a unique coverage across UK as it now has a food store in every UK postal area!

In May this year Co-operative Retail added 50 new products to its own brand range. Its Truly Irresistible range of premium food goods is being re-launched and revamped. This retailer seems to have understood clearly that shoppers are on a bargain hunt in this climate so it is offering 25% discount off all its new range, and will also be advertising the scheme through its sponsorship of ITV National Weather. Joining the social crowd Co-op is introducing QR codes into its food stores to help drive traffic to its website and daily prize draws will be given out to Twitter and Facebook users who mention Truly Irresistible.

Earlier in January 2011, Co-op had launched a new product range called Taste the Seasons to reflect the British seasons and urging customers to shop locally to save time to do something better.

With high unemployment figures, the UK’s largest mutual retailer has unveiled its new Apprenticeship Academy, which promises to 'inspire' young people and help move them up the career ladder. Costing £9 million, the academy will cover all areas of the Co-op’s business portfolio, including its food, pharmacy, automotive, legal and financial arms.

Members of the Co-operative Group have agreed to donate more than £3m of their annual profit-share to charities and community groups, maybe that’s the retailer’s way of sharing its success and believes in making real difference – must admit we are impressed!

But it’s not all that positive; with rival Haldanes announcing that it is taking legal action over the ex-Somerfield stores it purchased from Co-op after a ruling by the Competition Commission.

Expansion of property portfolio, increasing turnover, new product offerings, tapping multi-channel promotional strategies including proximity marketing service, launch of new services like legal advice to its customers, in-store banks, enterprise service. Now, this is what we call all-round expansion. Tesco watch out!

Not only is the Co-op FSP’s retailer of the month on SnapShop, but we believe it could be given titles like “most ethical” and “responsible grocer” of the year too.

Like what you read? Why not register to receive FSP’s information-packed newsletter from SnapShop for 3 months? Or join SnapShop and see Co-Operative’s Profile for yourself

Comments Comments (1) Twitter Twitter


Although the Truly Irresistible Cookies are exactly that - irresistible I am not entirely sure I agree with all of the points on here. Since the group purchased Sommerfield we now have 2 Co-ops in my village and sometimes finding the friendly staff and well stocked aisles can be hit and miss. On the other hand I was very impressed with the level of communication and special offers to local residents when the second larger unit was opening.

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