Co-op sees forty per cent growth in membership in Wales

11 July 2018

• Plans to recruit up to 250 new colleagues in Wales during the second-half of 2018
• £1.2m shared amongst 749 Welsh causes, and a 40% increase in the number of Members in Wales since Co-op re launched its Membership scheme – the Co-op has returned to its roots with a renewed focus on sharing value with its members and their communities

The number of active Members of The Co-op in Wales has jumped by 40% since it re-launched its Membership scheme and unveiled its rejuvenated brand, figures released today have revealed.

During the same period, the community retailer has supported 749 local Welsh causes through its Membership scheme, sharing almost £1.2M among organisations in its communities who contribute to improving local life. The Co-op has returned to its iconic, clover leaf design logo – first used in the 1960’s – and its Membership scheme, relaunched in September 2016, now sees more than 300,000 Members in Wales receive a 5% reward every time they swipe their card when purchasing own brand products, with the Co-op donating a further 1% to causes in their local community.

The retailer – whose history dates back to the mid-1800’s - is also investing in its stores, products, people and prices – with plans to recruit approaching 250 new colleagues in Wales during the second-half of 2018. The Co-op operates over 170 food stores across Wales. Its latest investment saw the 10,500 sq. Llandovery store relaunch last week (Friday, 6 July) following a £1M makeover. This summer will also see major investment for the Co-op in Ammanford, Pontycymmer; Wrexham and Llandudno Junction. With refurbishments and new developments before the year-end expected in Llangollen, Machen, Denbigh and Hirwaun.

UNP Co Op 38768 Tina Mitchell038

Tina Mitchell, Co-op Food’s Managing Director for Wales, said: “We genuinely believe that a strong Co-op creates stronger communities, our Members tell us that they care about their community, and about provenance, trust and fairness – it is important to them. Our colleagues, members, and customers are central to everything that we do. We want our stores to be at the heart of local life, connecting communities and bringing people together. Our investment in our communities is transforming our stores – ensuring the Co-op is agile, efficient, innovative and relevant in a challenging retail environment. Whether that is new and improved stores, supporting local causes, or celebrating the quality and passion that goes into locally sourced produce, we are committed to delivering what our members and customers want and care about, when and where they need it, conveniently.”

NFU Cymru President, John Davies said: “Last year, Co-op’s move to 100% sourcing of Welsh and British meat provided much needed support for Welsh and British farming at a time of considerable uncertainty for the industry. The Co-op’s ongoing success – particularly the rise in sales of PGI Welsh Lamb and other locally produced goods - just goes to highlight the fact that the Co-op was ahead of the curve in recognising that consumers want and value the safe, high quality and fully traceable food and drink produced by farmers across Wales and the rest of Britain. It is great that the retailer’s strong brand values and support for farming have been vindicated with a rise in membership and sales.”

The Co-op won the convenience retailer of the year title at the Retail Industry Awards, and earlier this year it unveiled a £50M price investment programme to cut the cost of everyday essentials including fruit, vegetables, bread, fresh meat and ready meals, as well as household brand names.

It also reported a 20% jump in sales of Welsh lamb after a retail first last May to switch all own brand meat – including lamb and bacon - to British. And, saw a 42% increase in sales of locally produced goods, with more than 500 Welsh-made products now on sale in its stores - from beer to burgers, and curry to ice cream. The Co-op has also partnered with NUS extra, offering students and apprentices in Wales who are NUS extra cardholders a 10% discount off their groceries to support them during their studies.

The Co-op’s difference, and ownership model, is resonating with Members and customers, with four consecutive years of LFL growth in its core convenience business.

Further information about the benefits of Co-op membership is available in-store, or by visiting: http://www.coop.co.uk/membership/

Co-op Members can receive £500 in Co-op vouchers by successfully suggesting a new site where they would like to see a Co-op food store serve their community, visit https://www.coop.co.uk/forms/suggest-a-site

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Further information
Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702 505 551
E: andrew.torr@coop.co.uk