A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (September 2020)
|Founded||23 July 1850|
|Headquarters||Manchester, United Kingdom|
Number of locations
|Revenue||£7.8 billion (2022)|
|£139 million (2022)|
|Owner||Brand managed by The Co-operative Group|
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. 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 Federal Retail 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.
|Co-operative Society||Number of Outlets||Version of The Co-operative brand|
|The Co-operative Group||2,774||2016 cloverleaf|
|Central England Co-operative||261||ICA logo|
|The Midcounties Co-operative||234||ICA logo|
|Southern Co-operative||213||own version|
|East of England Co-operative Society||132||own version|
|Lincolnshire Co-operative||93||1993 cloverleaf|
|Chelmsford Star Co-operative||42||ICA logo |
|Heart of England Co-operative||33||2008 version|
|Channel Islands Co-operative Society||26||ICA logo|
|Radstock Co-operative Society||16||own version|
|Tamworth Co-operative Society||12||2008 version|
|Clydebank Co-operative Society||6||1993 cloverleaf|
|Allendale Co-operative Society||1||own version|
|Coniston Co-op||1||own version / 1993 cloverleaf|
|Grosmont Co-operative Society||1||own version|
Work with Amazon
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.
Co-op 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 Retail Trading Services. The Co-operative Group manages all of its own warehouses and most of its own transport 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 Supply Chain Logistics has 9 regional distribution centres (RDCs) and 3 smaller local service centres (LSCs) servicing the outer extremities of the UK. The Coventry-based National Distribution Centre (NDC) supplies all distribution centres with slower moving ambient lines and tobacco.
|Depot Name||Location||Products||Transport Operation|
|Birtley RDC||Birtley, County Durham||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Newhouse), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Andover RDC & Frozen Hub||Andover, Hampshire||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||GXO Logistics|
|Avonmouth RDC||Avonmouth, Bristol||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Andover), Chilled, Meat and Produce||GXO Logistics|
|Castlewood RDC||Mansfield, Derbyshire||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Lea Green), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Lea Green RDC & Frozen Hub||St Helens, Merseyside||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||GXO Logistics|
|Newhouse RDC & Frozen Hub||Lanarkshire, Scotland||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Thurrock RDC||West Thurrock, Essex||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Biggleswade), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Biggleswade RDC & Frozen Hub||Biggleswade, Bedfordshire||Ambient, Frozen, Chilled, Meat and Produce||Co-op SCL|
|Coventry NDC||Coventry, West Midlands||Slow Moving Ambient and Tobacco||Eddie Stobart|
|Dalcross LSC||Inverness, Scotland||Local service centre for Northern Scotland||Co-op SCL|
|Carrickfergus LSC||County Antrim, Northern Ireland||Local service centre for Northern Ireland||Co-op SCL|
|Plymouth LSC||Plymouth, Devon||Local service centre for South Western England||Co-op SCL|
|Wellingborough RDC||Wellingborough, Northamptonshire||Ambient, Frozen (picked in Biggleswade), Chilled, Meat and Produce||Wincanton|
Members of The Co-operative Group and participating regional societies earn one membership point for every £1 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 September 2023[update]):
- Co-op – standard own brand range
- Irresistible – premium food and drink
- Free From – suitable for customers with food allergies
- Gro – Plant-based 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.
- "Co-op Annual Report & Accounts for 2022" (PDF). Co-op Group. p. 22. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
- "About Us", Co-operative.coop, retrieved 23 May 2016
- Bennett, Kev (6 September 2023). "International Co-op logo comes to our food stores". Chelmsford Star Co-operative.
- "Co-op faces criticism as it begins selling groceries via Amazon". The Guardian. 16 September 2021. 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.
- Farrell, Steve (1 April 2019). "Co-op expands robot deliveries to second store". The Grocer. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- Ingham, Lucy (16 March 2020). "Robot delivery service comes to first UK town centre". Verdict. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
- "Milton Keynes now has 'world's largest autonomous robot fleet' as Starship expand further". Starship Technologies (Press release). Retrieved 6 November 2020 – via MKFM.
- "Robot supermarket delivery trial in Cambridgeshire". BBC News. 17 May 2022. Retrieved 20 May 2022.
- "Robot grocery delivery service to expand in Northamptonshire". BBC News. 15 July 2022.
- Dempsey, Michael (8 August 2022). "Are we falling in love with robots?". BBC News.
- Events, UKi Media & (1 December 2022). "Starship and Co-op to provide autonomous grocery deliveries in Leeds". Parcel and Postal Technology International. Retrieved 1 December 2022.