Co-op sector nominations in the Retail Week Awards

Central Co-op is in the running for responsible retailer while the Co-op Group has a store manager up for the Store Hero category

The shortlist for the Retail Week Awards 2023 has been released, with co-op nominations in two categories.

Central Co-op is up for the Salesforce Responsible Retailer Award. The society has announced a raft of climate and sustainability measures in recent years, and in 2021 signed the EU’s Code of Conduct on Responsible Business and Marketing Practices in an effort to work closely with partners to help improve food sustainability. Last December it announced a partnership with Yorkshire-based renewable business Sol PV Group to provide over 12MWp of solar PV systems across its property portfolio. 

Other initiatives have tackled food waste, food poverty, in-house staff development, employment training and community support.

It faces competition in the category from Aldi, the Body Shop, Currys, eBay, Lidl, Pets at Home, Screwfix, SportShoes, Tesco and Wolf & Badger.

Another nomination sees the manager of the Co-op Group’s McDonald Road, Edinburgh store nominated for the Store Hero category.

Roan Irving, 34, has worked for the Group for 15 years and is described as an “exceptional young retail manager, embracing Co-op’s ethical and community values while selflessly putting colleague development and support for the community foremost.”

He has been actively involved in supporting the rapid roll-out of e-commerce in his area, raised funds for mental health charity SAMH and, in addition to raising awareness of the Group’s Local Community Fund, he has promoted the development of networks of local volunteers who work together to help to make a difference in the community.

His area manager Johanne Thorpe said: “Roan is a wonderful example of a manager who is not only totally focussed on his role but is also doing his very best to make a difference for both colleagues and his local community – all this despite his own personal challenges as his partner has a serious illness. We are delighted for Roan.”

Roan added: “I was shocked when I heard the news, I was at home at the time and it was lovely to share with my family. It still hasn’t really sunk in. I like to make a difference, but I just see it as just doing my job – it is incredible to receive this recognition, I never expected it and I couldn’t have achieved it without a great team and the support of the Co-op which provides opportunities to play a part and make a difference in local community life.”

Winners will be announced on 30 March. Click here for the full list of nominations.