Channel Islands Co-op steps up no-deal Brexit preparations

The society is trying to make sure its supply chain has as little disruption as possible

The Channel Islands Co-operative is intensifying preparations for a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Earlier this year the co-op, which operates 12 grocery stores in Jersey and 10 in Guernsey, ordered 15,000 cases of ambient goods, which were stored at its warehouse in Bellozanne.

The retailer has also struck an agreement with the government of Jersey to provide essential supplies and to ensure that regardless of the impact on supply chains of a no-deal Brexit, islanders in Jersey will be protected from food shortages.

“We have started putting some of this stock back on sale in our Grand Marché stores, but will have some reserves held should they be required,” said Mark Cox, the acting chief executive officer for the society.

“We’ve been working closely with the Co-operative Group which has been importing and stockpiling food products within the UK to help deal with any post- Brexit shortages.”

Mr Cox said the society is preparing to help locals cope with potential no-deal Brexit disruption by to making sure the supply chain has as little disruption as possible.

He added: “With this in mind, we are now once again preparing for a co-deal Brexit on 31 October. We are looking at increasing ambient stock in all of our stores where the date code allows us to.

“We have been looking at uplifting stocks of key frozen bread lines across both islands and investigating contingency plans to secure additional frozen storage capacity locally. Our local suppliers have been fantastic and, where possible, we are taking additional volumes of local products.

“In terms of our pharmacies, we are making provisions and working very closely with the governments in both Jersey and Guernsey.”

Mr Cox warned that Brexit might impact the society’s ability to maintain current ranges, leading to range shrinkages in some areas.

“Food prices may also be impacted by a no-deal Brexit, but we would like to reassure members that we will do all we can to mitigate any potential impact following Brexit,” he said.

In May the society reported operating profits of £8.8m for the year to 13 January, up from £6.6m the previous year.