Co-op Group sets its sights on 8 million members by 2030

The new target comes alongside plans to grow the core businesses – Food, Funerals, Legal and Insuran

The Co-op Group has announced new growth plans today, setting a goal to “substantially increase the number of members-owners from 5 million to 8 million by 2030 – making a difference for members, communities, and wider social issues they face”.

The new target follows the release of data which, the Group says, shows that membership continues to grow significantly ahead of expectations. It now has 5 million active member owners, up almost 15% on the previous year.

Figures also show a 21% increase in members shopping with the Group during December.

The Group says the membership target aligns with broader growth ambitions across its core businesses – Food, Funerals, Legal and Insurance, “aiming to broaden reach and scale and attract, reward and engage member owners”.

The Food business is targeting a greater share of the UK convenience market through omni channel growth, with ambitions to acquire new Co-op stores, more than double the number of new franchise stores, open 400 new Nisa stores, and accelerate share in the quick commerce market to over 30%.

Additionally, Group says its Funeralcare, Legal and Insurance businesses plan to extend and improve their product ranges and bring on board new partners, “while making membership more integral”. 

To help drive the membership growth, the Group has also launched the latest round of member price reductions within the Food business, taking in a further 117 everyday low prices, which for the first time includes branded goods. 

Today’s announcement follows the recent decision – controversial among some members – to replace member rewards with exclusive member pricing.

“This follows the biggest ever investment in convenience pricing last year,” says the Group, “where member prices were introduced on 175 everyday essential products and takes total investment to £100m. This major investment sits alongside the many other benefits of being a member-owner of the Co-op”

Covering key lines such as bakery, dairy, soft drinks and pet food, the price reductions could save members up to £10 a week, says the Group, which has also launched offers across Co-op Insurance products, offering insurance deals saving members up to £54 on average.

“Over the past year our underlying financial strength has enabled us to support our colleagues and their communities, through the cost-of-living crisis,” said CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq. “By placing our member-owners firmly at the heart of our Co-op, we’ve seen a marked increase in new members joining us and greater engagement from existing members.

“As we enter our 180th year, we now have a unique opportunity to make this a golden era of co-operation. Co-op membership is not a loyalty scheme but rather a different way of doing business. We exist and are run for the benefit of our millions of members. As owners of our business, our members not only benefit financially from their membership, but also have a say in decisions we take as a business and help support and make a difference to issues that our members care about in communities across the UK.

“We are looking to not only provide greater financial benefits to our members through lower prices and offers across our businesses, but also to deepen our engagement with members on the decisions we take and the issues that matter most to them.”