East of England Co-operative Society

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Not to be confused with Anglia Regional Co-operative Society.
East of England Co-operative Society Limited
Consumer Co-operative
Industry Retail (Wholesale)
Founded 2005 (1858)
Products Grocer, Funeral Director, Travel Agent, Ophthalmic Optician, Dispensing Chemist
Revenue c. 400 million GBP
Number of employees
5,000 (approx.)
Website www.eastofengland.coop/

The East of England Co-operative Society is the fourth largest consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom.[1] It is a registered industrial and provident society;[2] headquartered in Ipswich and trading in the eastern counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, the Society is the area's largest independent retailer.


The East of England Co-operative Society is an amalgamation of smaller societies from across East Anglia which have joined together over the years. Most recently, the Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society merged with the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society in 2005.

The consumer co-operative movement has its roots in the early part of the nineteenth century and the principles of self-help and social equity that developed during the Victorian era. The first successful retail co-operative was established in 1844 by the Rochdale Pioneers. The Ipswich and Norwich Society was the product of an amalgamation, in 1993, of the Ipswich Co-operative Society (known as the Ipswich Industrial from 1868 to 1968 and incorporating, since 1991, the engagements of the former Stowmarket Society, established 1889) and the Norwich Co-operative Society (formed in 1858).[3] The Colchester and East Essex Society was founded as Colchester Co-operative Society in 1861, expanding through merger with the following co-operative societies:[4]

Society Established Transferred
Tiptree Self Help 1895 1921
Clacton 1931
Coggeshall Heart-in-Hand 1945
Harwich, Dovercourt and Parkeston March 1967
Maldon Nov. 1967
Witham June 1970
Earls Colne Aug. 1970


East of England Co-operative food store in Sheringham, Norfolk.

The Society operates convenience stores, pharmacies, opticians, funeral directors and travel agents. It previously ran a dairy with doorstep deliveries, but this was sold to Dairy Crest in early 2008 and their department stores and a jewellery store were sold to Vergo Retail in 2009. In 2010 their car dealerships were also sold to various owners.[5][6][7]

The Society is a corporate member of the Co-operative Group, sourcing its food through the national buying programme, the Co-operative Retail Trading Group.

The East of England Co-operative Party organise in Colchester, Suffolk and Norfolk.


Customers and employees pay £1 to join and receive a Dividend card, which effectively acts as a loyalty card, and must be presented at any transaction to receive points. These points are then allocated a monetary value, decided by a board, and based on the Society's profits that year.

in 2015 however it is free to join the east of England co-op society.

Membership is open to all those living or working in the Society's trading area. Members receive a share in the profits and in 2008 more than £4 million was paid out in dividends.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ After The Co-operative Group, Midlands Co-operative Society and The Midcounties Co-operative, see p.34 The UK co-operative economy 2012 – alternatives to austerity Co-operatives UK (retrieved 16 January 2014)
  2. ^ Registered in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985, No. 1099R
  3. ^ A brief history of the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society East of England Co-operative Society (retrieved 3 September 2009)
  4. ^ A brief history of Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society East of England Co-operative Society (retrieved 3 September 2009)
  5. ^ "Co-operative Motor Group Citroen King’s Lynn". Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  6. ^ "Co-operative Motor Group Peugeot Norwich". Retrieved 2010-06-16. 
  7. ^ "Co-operative Motor Group Peugeot King’s Lynn". Retrieved 2010-06-16. 

External links[edit]