Fourth largest Co-op opens shop

THE Midcounties Co-operative is the name of the new super co-op covering middle England. After member approval the merger between Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op and West Midlands...

THE Midcounties Co-operative is the name of the new super co-op covering middle England.

After member approval the merger between Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op and West Midlands Co-operative Society has now created the fourth largest retail society in the UK.

It will have a combined turnover of at least &#163 500 million, 180,000 members, 7,000 employees and will run 350 outlets.

As well as retail stores the Midcounties Co-operative will run a range of other businesses including pharmacies, motor sales, childcare nurseries, care homes, funeral homes and more.

The merger will be effective from 24th September, with Bob Burlton, from OSG, becoming its Chief Executive. While former West Midlands Chief Ben Reid will become the acting Chief Executive Designate until he replaces Mr Burlton who will retire next year.

Chief Executive of OSG Mr Burlton said: "The creation of this new UK Society is excellent news for the movement as it will enable us to further both our aims of running a successful, values driven business that also promotes co-operation and benefits local communities."

Mr Reid, Chief Executive of West Midlands Co-op, said: "Members of both Societies have backed the merger all the way. The new name, The Midcounties Co-operative, not only conveys our location in the heart of the UK but also positions it as a major business covering a substantial trading area."

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