Despite a competitive retail sector, co-operatives are still standing out.
This month, Co-operative Food stores came out as one of the fastest growing non-discounters over the crucial Christmas period and January. Own-brand sales jumped up 7%, while overall sales grew by 1.4%.
Looking at the grocery market as a whole, the sector has seen a 0.2% increase in sales. But for Co-op foodstores, the latest retail analysis figures show that people are frequently visiting stores, which are embedded and easily accessible in communities.
The results knockdown the results of the Which? annual supermarket survey that placed Co-op Food as its lowest ranked with customers only giving stores a satisfaction rating of 57%. The Co-operative Group called this a “backward looking survey” that does not reflect recent refurbishments and lower prices.
A quick glance across social media shows that customers have noticed food stores improving over the past year – so we would expect that Co-op stores will be one of the fastest climbers in next year’s survey.
Even though there is a squeeze on the supermarket sector, this does not stop our retail co-ops in leading the way. Lincolnshire and Midcounties have recently pioneered modern systems to retain energy.
Since last year, Lincolnshire’s stores have been using a different type of gas to power its fridges, which have helped the society reduce its total energy usage by 26%. In Walsall, Midcounties has installed a system that pumps air around the store, which also recovers energy. The initiative is much cheaper to run than conventional systems.
On the theme of sustainability, the charity behind the vision to create a co-operative settlement in Lanarkshire, which was rejected by the local authority, has said it’s looking to team up with other co-ops around the country to bring co-op principles to community living.
And helping to create a sustainable future for communities is one way for co-operatives to show off its difference this year, since it’s the theme of the International Day of Co-operatives.
On the first Saturday of July, the joint United Nations/International Co-operative Alliance celebration of all things co-operative, will be telling the world how co-ops have the “power to act for a sustainable future”.
Fitting in firmly with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the day is our chance to show our communities how co-ops are doing their bit. Whether it’s helping to eradicate poverty, save energy, improve equality or help develop communities – there is plenty for co-ops to shout about on 2 July.
Let us know how your co-op is different, and we’ll tell your story.
In this article
- British co-operative movement
- Central England Co-operative
- CO-OPERATIVE Group
- Consumer cooperative
- food stores
- Midcounties Co-operative
- retail sector
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Food
- The Co-operative Group
- United Nations
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories