Southern Co-operative

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The Southern Co-operative Limited
Type Consumer Co-operative
Industry Retail
Founded 1873
Headquarters 1000 Lakeside
North Harbour,
Western Road,
Key people Michael Hastilow, Chairman
Mark Smith, Chief Executive
Products Grocer, Funeral director, Independent living
Revenue £327 million (2013)
Employees 3,744 (1,374 full-time) (2012)

The Southern Co-operative is a regional consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom. It is a registered Industrial and Provident Society,[1] a member of the Co-operative Union Ltd., the Co-operative Retail Trading Group and a corporate member of Co-operative Group Ltd. (formerly Co-operative Wholesale Society), the largest consumer co-operative in the world. Head office was previously located at Fareham in Hampshire, but since July 2011, is now located at 1000 Lakeside, a business park in North Harbour, Portsmouth.[2]

The principal activities of the Society are food retailing and funerals. It operates over 190 convenience stores and 50 funeral homes, covering the counties of Berkshire, Bristol, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.[3]


Founded in 1873, the Society was known as the Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society until 1998, when it became Southern Co-operatives.[4] In 2009, it purchased 13 stores from Nearby Stores, that had gone into administration at the end of 2008.[5] Membership is open to all residents of its trading area, with members receiving a share of the profits in the form of dividend.

The Southern Co-operative foodstore, in Cowes, Isle of Wight.

In April 2009, plans were released to staff and members that Southern Co-operatives would adopt The Co-operative brand programme. It would re-brand within the next two years as The Southern Co-operative using the same uniforms and fascias as Co-operative Group stores, to "better reflect [their] status as a completely independent regional society owned, controlled and managed exclusively by local people in the South of England, whilst playing [a] full part in the exciting co-operative developments taking place nationally."


As of 2009, the company revealed its latest online venture Co-operative Independent Living (formally Co-operative Xest) which is a site aimed at selling products that aid mobility and help improve the standard of living for the physically impaired.[6][7]

From 2010 to 2013 Southern Co-operative increased its revenue by 26% to £327m, and profits by 28%.[8]

Southern Co-operative membership has a direct structure, with members entitled to attend AGMs, unlike the regional membership structure of the Co-operative Group.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Registered in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985, No. 1591R
  2. ^ "1000 Lakeside is the new home for the Southern Co-operative". Southern Co-operative. 24 March 2011. 
  3. ^ The Southern Co-operative
  4. ^ Our History Southern Co-operatives (retrieved 4 September 2009)
  5. ^ "Nearby sells 13 stores to Southern". The Grocer. 10 January 2009. 
  6. ^ Products to make everyday life easier
  7. ^ Annual Review 2008/9 (p.3) Southern Co-operatives, April 2009
  8. ^ a b Sean Farrell (23 March 2014). "The Co-op Group is in turmoil: the cooperative movement isn't". The Observer. Retrieved 23 March 2014. 

External links[edit]