The Co-op Group is undergoing the first stage of its Retail Business Transformation programme (RBT), which will introduce new technology to improve ranging, stock holding, availability, and more accurate forecasting.
As part of this, the retailer is using a new cloud-based supplier collaboration portal, Co-op Connect.
The systems are being tested in 24 stores, across five categories, with 15 suppliers and around 300 stock-keeping units. The categories being trialled are soft drinks, salads, paper, pizza and beer, working with suppliers including Coca-Cola, Heineken, Agrial Fresh Produce, Bakkavor Pizza & Bread, and Kimberly Clark.
Michael Fletcher, chief commercial officer at the Group, said: “The RBT programme is an integral part of Co-op’s ongoing success, as we look to ensure that the technology we are using will future-proof the business for many years to come.
“This pilot will allow us to work with suppliers to ensure that it is working perfectly before we roll it out elsewhere, and we are already getting positive feedback that the new portal is faster and easier to navigate.
“Investing in new technology will allow us to grow the business, helping to deliver a stronger Co-op that will result in stronger communities.”