The Co-operative Food
|Type||Business of a consumer co-operative|
|Headquarters||One Angel Square,
Manchester, England, UK
|Parent||The Co-operative Group|
The Co-operative Food, commonly referred to as the Co-op, is a brand devised for the grocery business of the consumer co-operative movement in the United Kingdom. It is the largest division of The Co-operative Group and is also used by independent regional societies. The Co-operative Food is successor to the Co-op Welcome and a range of regional formats.
Whilst the UK co-operative sector's market share of food retail has diminished from a peak of 30% in the 1950s to just 9% today, the Co-operative Group remains the fifth largest food retailer in the United Kingdom. It operates over 3,300 stores of various sizes with the biggest geographical spread of any retailer, with a store in every postal region of the UK. The Group took the decision not to compete head-on with the Big Four supermarket multiples on range and price in a market that was becoming ever more competitive. It decided to concentrate instead on smaller stores which were in local communities. It also began to market the "co-operative difference" and the ethical stance it took on sourcing, having long been a supporter of Fairtrade.
An example is the iconic Co-op 99 brand tea that has now joined all other own-brand beverages in becoming Fairtrade. In addition all Co-operative own-brand health, beauty and household products are marked with an "approved by BUAV" rabbit symbol to show that neither the product nor its ingredients have been tested on animals. Members of The Co-operative Group are entitled to earn dividend on purchases made at The Co-operative food.
The Co-operative Food brand appears on own label goods stocked by all of the UK's retail co-operative societies, while many of the regional societies also use the brand on their stores.
According to Catherine Charnock of Co-operative Brands Ltd., The Co-operative Food was given a green identifying colour distinguishing it from other co-operative business sectors (such as pharmacy, banking, travel and funerals) and from the previous blue livery.
Retailer Somerfield Stores Ltd. was acquired by The Co-operative Group on 2 March 2009 in a £1.57 billion deal; the brand was replaced by The Co-operative Food fascia within two years of this acquisition.
Co-operative Food Supply Chain Logistics is the distribution business of the Co-operative Group. The 14 distribution centres are located at
|Alfreton||Alfreton, Derbyshire||Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Andover||Andover, Hampshire||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Avonmouth||Bristol||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Birtley||Birtley, County Durham||Ambient, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Cardinal||Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire||Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Carrickfergus||Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland|
|Coventry (NDC)||Coventry, West Midlands||Slow moving ambient lines delivered via other distribution centres|
|Halesowen||Birmingham, West Midlands||Frozen|
|Lea Green||St Helens, Merseyside||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Newhouse||near Glasgow, Scotland||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|Portbury||Bristol||Chilled, Meat and Produce||Closed Spring 2013; operations moved to Avonmouth|
|Thurrock||West Turrock, Essex||Ambient, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|U/N||Horsell, Woking, Surrey||Chilled, Meat and Produce||Being replaced across road|
|U/N||Knaphill, Woking, Surrey||Chilled, Meat and Produce|
|U/N||St Johns, Surrey||Ambient, Chilled, Meat and Produce|
Barnsley RDC was closed in April 2007. Ossett, Talke and Bradford were closed in September 2010. Eccleshall closed November 2010. Following the opening of the Newhouse depot, [Harthill] and [Cumbernauld] closed in October 2011. Peterborough and Huntworth also closed in October 2011. Following the opening of the Avonmouth depot, Chelston closed in December 2012.
A further distribution centre is planned at Castlewood, near Mansfield in the North Midlands and will open in Spring 2013.
See also 
- Charnock, Catherine, Marketing The Co-operative Advantage, retrieved 14 June 2010
- Co-op completes Somerfield move BBC News, 2 March 2009 13:59 GMT
- Co-operative Radio shows sales increase up to 40% at moodmedia.co.uk