Co-op Group cuts member rewards but doubles community support

The ‘5 and 1’ reward has been dropped: Members now get 2% back from money spent on Co-op branded products while 2% goes to communities

The Co-op Group has announced changes to its member reward scheme, scrapping the ‘5 and 1’ system it established in 2016.

Under ‘5 and 1’ members received a 5% reward for any purchases they made of Co-op own-brand products and services, with a further 1% directly benefiting local causes.

The new scheme will see the community payment double to 2% but the member reward on Co-op-branded products cut to 2%; however, there will also be a range of offers and discounts for members through the Co-op App or membership page.

Announcing the changes, chief executive Steve Murrells said they came against a backdrop of growing community need and business challenge.

As we face a second wave of the pandemic, there are no doubt even more challenging times ahead for our business and the communities we serve,” he said. “But with that comes a massive opportunity for our Co-op to help fix what we know is broken, and demonstrate that there is a better way.

“When the crisis broke, we acted fast. We helped make sure food banks stayed stocked, bereaved families could afford to say their best goodbye and local causes in communities hardest-hit by the impact of the virus could keep up their critical work.

“And, earlier this month, we unveiled a set of bold commitments to help us tackle the deep-rooted racism and inequality in our society, kickstarting a real shift in the way we lead and do business.  

“We’re showing that co-operation isn’t just for times of crisis. If we truly want to create a fairer world, it needs to be something that we live and breathe day in, day out. And now is our time.”

He added: “Today, we’re calling for a new era of co-operation with changes to Co-op membership.

“Our communities need our support now more than ever. So, every time members buy Co-op branded products in our food stores, 2p for every £1 will go to community causes.

“And £2 for every £100 members spend on selected products and services in Co-op Legal Services and Funeralcare will go to communities, too.”

Mr Murrells said the money would continue the Local Community Fund to back thousands of grassroots local causes nationwide; and support a new Community Partnerships Fund, which will see the Group “create lasting change on the big issues we care about – access to food, mental wellbeing support and education and employment opportunities for young people – in partnership with like-minded organisations”.

He said members “can now get even more from Co-op membership in our food stores with exclusive member deals and personalised offers for money off the things they buy most, through the Co-op App. And they’ll now get 2p for every £1 back for themselves when buying Co-op branded products.

“On top of all that, members also benefit from exclusive member prices and discounts in Co-op Legal Services, Funeralcare and Insurance.”

Meanwhile, the colleague member discount is being doubled – taking it back to its former level of 20% – in Co-op Food.

“We’ve always valued the hard work of all our colleagues,” said Mr Murrells, “and we’re thrilled to share that we’re doubling the discount we give our colleague members.

“This means a 20% off Co-op branded products in our food stores all year-round; and 10% off other brands all year-round, which doubles to 20% on the Friday and Saturday after every payday.”

Mr Murrells also announced improvements to the Co-op App – available on the App Store or Google Play – where members can select “weekly personalised offers for money off the things you buy most in our food stores, select a local cause to support, donate to the Community Partnerships Fund and explore opportunities to co-operate with others locally”.

From today until Tuesday 20 October, all members can claim a free bar of Irresistible Fairtrade Chocolate in any of its food stores by downloading the app and redeeming an exclusive offer.

And the new digital membership card allows members to self-scan their phone or blue card at the till.