The Co-op Group has picked up three major prizes at the Retail Industry Awards, beating its ‘big four’ rivals in some of the most sought-after categories.
It won the Convenience Retailer category, beating Sainsbury’s Local and Tesco Express after a year which saw its like-for-like store sales remain strong at 3.5%, performing ahead of the market by 1.5%.
Judges recognised it for going beyond being just a retailer with its commitment to the Global Investment Fund for Water, its work on Fairtrade and its campaigning against Modern Slavery.
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Co-op also won Drinks Retailer in the multiples category, beating Aldi. The community retailer was recognised for its continued development of Fairtrade with suppliers, and its development of vegan and organic products. Judges also liked the online wine locator and involvement of members in deciding what products are stocked.
In addition, the Co-op has pioneered regional ranging within convenience in the beers, wines and spirits category, providing a sustainable route to the market for smaller brewers.
The Food-To-Go Retailer award also went to the Co-op, in recognition of the investment it has made, which has seen it outperforming its share of the market. The retailer has been broadening the range, with more vegetarian and snacking lines and the tailoring of the range to individual stores.
Retail chief executive Jo Whitfield said: “Championing a better way of doing business for our members and communities is what Co-op is all about and these awards are a testament to the hard work our colleagues are putting in. These wins recognise the transformation of our business as we’ve improved our stores, shopping experience and food quality while driving innovation in the sector.
“Our colleagues are the most passionate and committed Co-op members and I thank them all for their consistent hard work. Our colleagues deliver the Co-op values day in and day out, serving the community with our great quality products, and proving we truly are a better way of doing business.
“We have continued to invest in our products and have delivered a number of retailer firsts including 100% British fresh meat commitment in own brand products and sourcing only Fairtrade cocoa across our entire own brand range. And we are delighted to be able to add these awards to our collection.”
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