A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (September 2020)
|Product type||Groceries retailer|
|Owner||Brand managed by The Co-operative Group|
|Introduced||23 July 1850|
|Markets||4,050+ shops across the UK|
Prior to reintroducing the brand in 2016, the group used "The Co-operative" branding, which is still used by a number of consumers' co-operative societies in the UK. Other societies use their own branding.
In 2016, the Co-operative Food accounted for approximately 6.6% of the UK groceries market.
The "Co-op" brand is used by over 3,500 shops owned by various societies which make up the co-operative movement, including the Central England Co-operative and the Midcounties Co-operative. A number of co-operative societies including Scotmid and the Lincolnshire Co-operative prefer to use the 1992 'cloverleaf version' of The Co-operative brand. In May 2016, The Co-operative Group reverted to the use of its 1968 Co-op cloverleaf branding.
In March 2009, The Co-operative Group acquired the Somerfield supermarket retailer for £1.57bn from a group of private equity investors. The Somerfield Head Office in Bristol was subsequently closed and the grocery stores were either sold to rivals or integrated into its own Co-op Food division. In 2016, The Co-operative Group sold 298 smaller convenience stores to McColl's.
The majority of products sold in "Co-op Food" shops are sourced collectively through Co-operative Federal Trading Services although stocking decisions and pricing are determined by the individual businesses.
List of UK Co-operatives with food retail operations
Though often considered to be one supermarket business, The Co-operative Food is a network of supermarkets and convenience shops owned and operated by over 15 independent co-operative societies, many of which have adopted the 2008 version of The Co-operative brand. In total there are over 4,000 co-operative food shops in the UK. The table below indicates how many food shops each co-operative society operates.
Work with Amazon and use of facial recognition technology
In 2021, the Co-op started selling food online through Amazon, using robots to deliver groceries. The move was criticised by the GMB union, which has been campaigning for improved worker rights at Amazon.
The company has also started trialling facial recognition technology to identify potential shoplifters. The NGO Privacy International has written to the Co-op about their use of the technology.
|Co-operative Society||Number of Outlets||Incarnation of The Co-operative brand|
|The Co-operative Group||2,774||2016 cloverleaf|
|Central England Co-operative||261||2008 version|
|The Midcounties Co-operative||234||2008 version / ICA logo|
|Southern Co-operative||213||2008 version|
|Scotmid||206||own version / ICA logo|
|East of England Co-operative Society||132||own version|
|Lincolnshire Co-operative||84||1993 cloverleaf|
|Chelmsford Star Co-operative||42||2008 version|
|Heart of England Co-operative||33||2008 version|
|Channel Islands Co-operative Society||26||own version|
|Radstock Co-operative Society||16||2008 version|
|Tamworth Co-operative||12||2008 version|
|Clydebank Co-operative Society||6||1993 cloverleaf|
|Allendale Co-op||1||own version|
|Coniston Co-op||1||own version / 1993 cloverleaf|
|Grosmont Co-operative Society||1||own version|
Co-op Food Supply Chain Logistics is the distribution business of The Co-operative Group that manages the national and international distribution of goods on behalf of all the food retailing co-operative societies who are members of Co-operative Federal Trading Services. The Co-operative Group manages all of its own logistics and most of its delivery operations, although several distribution centres use third party logistics partners to manage their transport operations. Supply Chain Logistics Head Office is co-located at the Birtley Distribution Centre.
Co-op Food Supply Chain Logistics has 8 regional composite distribution centres and 3 smaller satellite depots supporting the larger CDCs. The Coventry-based National Distribution Centre (NDC) supplies all distribution centres direct, with slow moving lines.
|Depot Name||Location||Products||Transport Operation|
|Birtley (Logistics Head Office)||Birtley, County Durham||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Newhouse), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Andover||Andover, Hampshire||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||XPO Logistics|
|Avonmouth||Avonmouth, Bristol||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce||XPO Logistics|
|Castlewood||Mansfield, Derbyshire||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Lea Green), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Lea Green||St Helens, Merseyside||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||Wincanton|
|Newhouse||Lanarkshire, Scotland||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Thurrock||West Thurrock, Essex||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Cardinal||Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire||Ambient (picked in Castlewood), Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Wincanton|
|Coventry (NDC)||Coventry, West Midlands||Slow moving lines.||Eddie Stobart|
|Inverness||Highlands, Scotland||Satellite depot for Northern Scotland||Co-op SCL|
|Carrickfergus||County Antrim, N Ireland||Satellite depot for Northern Ireland||Co-op SCL|
|Plymouth||Plymouth, Devon||Satellite depot for South Western England||Co-op SCL|
|Leicester||Leicester||Ambient,Chilled, Meat and Produce depot for Leicestershire||Central England Co-operative|
Members of The Co-operative Group and participating regional societies earn one membership point for every £1.00 spent at The Co-operative Food. Points are converted into dividend at a rate agreed annually by the Board.
In September 2016, The Co-operative Group launched a new membership, decreasing the amount members earn from 5% to 2%, and increasing the amount spent on charity from 1% to 2%.
Co-op Food ranges currently are (as of May 2016):
- Co-op – standard own brand range
- Irresistible – premium food and drink
- Free From – suitable for customers with food allergies
- Gro – Vegetarian own brand range
- Honest Value – Low price range
Co-op Food ranges formerly were:
- Loved By Us – standard own brand range
- Truly Irresistible – premium food and drink
- Home Baking – home baking range
- Simply Value – low price range
In November 2020, the "Honest Value" range was launched as a lower priced range.
- "About Us", Co-operative.coop, retrieved 23 May 2016
- "Co-op faces criticism as it begins selling groceries via Amazon". the Guardian. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- Nast, Condé. "Co-op is using facial recognition tech to scan and track shoppers". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
- The Co-operative Membership The Co-operative Group (retrieved 20 August 2009)
- Hegarty, Ronan (21 October 2020). "Co-op cuts branded and own-label prices and adds new Honest Value range". The Grocer.