Retail analysts applaud Co-op Group’s ‘ambitious’ transformation

From ‘near extinction to resurgence’, the three-year turnaround plan of the Co-op Group has been deemed a success

As the Co-op Group is reaching the final stage of its turnaround plan, retail analysts IGD has recognised the transformation at its awards ceremony.

On Tuesday, more than 600 senior executives gathered at the IGD Awards, which saw the Group receive the award for Business Transformation, sponsored by KPMG.

In 2015, the then chief executive Richard Pennycook announced a three-year strategy to rebuild the Group following the discovery of a £1.5bn capital hole at the Co-operative Bank. The strategy focused on 15 areas, such as making membership meaningful, focusing on convenience retailing and ensuring logistics are improved.

“The Co-op is a great example of a business which has gone from near extinction to resurgence and growth to make itself relevant again in a fast-paced market,” said Matt Clark, director at KPMG.

IGD said the Group received the award for its “ambitious” True North programme, which began in 2013. The aim was to reposition itself as the UK’s number one convenience retailer by transforming all areas of its business.

“Putting customers back at the heart has increased growth, re-engaged colleagues and improved customers’ satisfaction,” said a statement from IGD.

Mr Clark added: “On top of being able to demonstrate strong financial results, the scale and complexity of its transformation story enabled it to get back to its core values and simplify the business, all whilst remaining focused on its people, members and community. Congratulations to the Co-op!”