Customers trust co-ops more than traditional businesses

Over six out of ten people (62%) surveyed trust co-operative businesses, which are member-owned and run

A YouGov survey commissioned by Co-operatives UK has revealed that co-ops enjoy a higher level of trust than traditional businesses.

Released yesterday, the survey showed that only 36% of British people believe that most companies in the UK are fair to consumers – down from 44% in 2000 and 61% in 1983 in previous offline research.

Furthermore, over three out of four people (76%) now believe that big business benefits owners at the expense of its workers.

However, over six out of ten people (62%) surveyed trust co-operative businesses, which are member-owned and run.

“High street closures, falling profits and uncertainty around Brexit makes this an extraordinarily challenging period for British business, but it will be tougher still if the UK has indeed hit a new low in terms of consumer confidence in business,” said Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK.

The survey also looked at what determines whether customers trust a business or not. Around 72% of respondents said that being a good employer meant the business was trustworthy. Other reasons quotes were passing on savings to customers (69%), behaving fairly (67%) and supporting their local communities or caring for the environment and sharing profits with its employees/ shareholders (55%).

“The co-operative way is to give a voice to those involved in the business and we are seeing an increase in people attracted to this way of working,” added Mr Mayo. “Perhaps it is time for UK plc, before it is too late, to recast its relationship with customers and employees in a more co-operative spirit.”

The survey was carried online and involved 2,100 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults.

Last month, Co-operatives UK also published its annual Co-op Economy report, which showed that new co-ops are almost twice as likely as start-up companies to survive their first five years.

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