New boost for brand

Heart of England Society’s decision to adopt the new Co-operative branding for all its 33 food stores has been hailed as a significant milestone by the Co-operative Group’s...

The board of the Warwickshire-based society announced its intention to embrace the brand after a pilot scheme at its refurbished store in Earlsdon, Coventry, proved successful.

Chief Executive Ali Kurji commented: “This is a hugely exciting move. We have watched with interest how the brand has developed and performed and the momentum created when adopted by other societies. The time is now right to roll out the branding to all our stores throughout our trading region and we are confident it will be warmly received by all our loyal customers.” 

Added Mr Kurji: “The Co-operative brand has become very well established in a short space of time; is instantly recognisable and is definitely here to stay.”  

He said it would build on the Co-operative Group’s ‘Good for Everyone’ TV commercial earlier this year and its extensive TV and national newspaper advertising and promotions in-store.

“We have a vibrant, contemporary brand and this is raising our profile,” said Mr Kurji. “More importantly, we are bringing together the power of a national brand with the highest possible standards of local commercial operations and community engagement.”

Welcoming the Heart of England decision, Patrick Allen said that, by the end of this year, almost 4,000 Group and regional society outlets will feature the new look.

Heart of England’s decision means that eight independent society’s have now signed up to the brand project — the others being Midlands, Midcounties, Southern, Anglia, Chelmsford Star, Radstock and Tamworth — and, in a letter in this edition of the News, Mr Allen describes the growth of the brand as “remarkable”.

He pointed out that, at the beginning of 2007, only 150 Co-op Group stores carried the new identity.

Said Mr Allen: “The co-operative is currently witnessing a renaissance and the brand is in a better place today than it has been for a generation. This is an exciting time to be involved with The co-operative and I am delighted that so many independent societies are joining us.”

Meanwhile the Group has announced that 19 sites in its £250 million motor retailing operation are to be rebranded as The Co-operative Motor Group.

The dealerships, which until now have traded under United Co-operatives’ Sunwin Motors brand, will be renamed in a move that marks their formal induction to the Group’s family of businesses.

The new Co-operative Motor Group represents ten major motor manufactures (Renault, Nissan, Mazda, Peugeot, Fiat, Landrover, Suzuki, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep) and achieved sales of over £250 million in the last financial year.

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