Which? survey sees Co-op Group lose out against supermarket rivals

The poll put the Group last in the ranking but Which? says the comparison of convenience stores with bigger shops might have affected the result

Which? has released its annual supermarket survey, which ranks the Co-op Group last behind some of its bigger rivals.

The consumer organisation, which says the Group lost out because its convenience store model is being compared on range with big supermarkets, surveyed 3,037 members of the public on a range of factors, such as store appearance and quality of produce to value for money.

Aldi came top, buoyed by a five-star rating on value for money, although shoppers were less impressed with the layout and appearance of its stores and its range of stock.

The Group, a new entrant to the rankings, came last – with M&S in the No.2 slot followed by Lidl, Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Iceland and Asda.

It scored two stars out of five for store appearance and quality of produce and one star for value for money, with an overall customer score of 59% (compared with 73% for Aldi).

Which? said: “Shoppers gave it pitiful one-star ratings for value for money and range of stock.

“However, in many ways the Co-op follows more of a convenience-store business model than some of the bigger supermarket chains, and this could explain some of these results.

“For example, smaller stores are, by definition, likely to have a more limited range and may also have higher overheads. This will be the case for some of the other supermarkets in our survey too, though.

“One shopper told us: “It is not the cheapest place to shop, and due to a fairly small store size the amount of products is more limited.”

The Group was not included in the online rankings because its home delivery service doesn’t operate from all locations.

The Group responded: “Co-op is committed to providing a shopping range with quality and ethically sourced products which offer value and convenience with a high standard of customer experience. Our convenience stores offers customers easy, quick and safe, socially distanced shopping in their local communities and many provide online deliveries within 30 minutes.”

The Which? poll is in contrast to some successful polling by the retailer last year. In May a survey for the adjudicator of the Groceries Supply Code of Practice praised its improved performance on treatment of its suppliers, leaving ranked second. And in July the UK Customer Satisfaction Index scored it third in terms of customer satisfaction, while the Group also registered the strongest sales growth.

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