East of England Co-operative Society
|Headquarters||Ipswich, Suffolk, England|
|Products||Grocer, Funeral Director, Travel Agent, Ophthalmic Optician, Dispensing Chemist|
|Revenue||c. 400 million GBP|
Number of employees
The East of England Co-operative Society is the fourth largest consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom. It is a registered industrial and provident society; 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). The Colchester and East Essex Society was founded as Colchester Co-operative Society in 1861, expanding through merger with the following co-operative societies:
|Tiptree Self Help||1895||1921|
|Harwich, Dovercourt and Parkeston||March 1967|
|Earls Colne||Aug. 1970|
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.
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.
From 2015 however, it became free to join the East of England Co-op society, with the £1 fee previously charged, being deducted from the member's first dividend payout.
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.
- 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)
- Registered in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985, No. 1099R
- A brief history of the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society East of England Co-operative Society (retrieved 3 September 2009)
- A brief history of Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society East of England Co-operative Society (retrieved 3 September 2009)
- "Co-operative Motor Group Citroen King’s Lynn". Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- "Co-operative Motor Group Peugeot Norwich". Retrieved 2010-06-16.
- "Co-operative Motor Group Peugeot King’s Lynn". Retrieved 2010-06-16.