15 July 2022

Co-op store worker, Sue Trembath, is celebrating with colleagues after ringing-up 50 years of working on the tills at the same Co-op store and serving Members and customers in St Just, Cornwall.

Sue, 65, who now lives in nearby Gurnard’s Head, started working at the store in 1972 and is believed to be the longest serving Co-op colleague working in the same store.

Fifty years ago Sue started as a “store junior” – duties included cleaning, replenishing stock, and putting price stickers on individual grocery items on the shelves. At the time, Sue had to buy her own uniform and “sensible shoes”, decimalisation has just been introduced and, it wasn’t until 1984 that the half-pence coin was withdrawn from circulation. Sue also recalled that the store closed for lunch – which is now one of the busiest times of the day for a convenience retailer.

Sue – who had been to promoted to a supervisor over the years but has since stepped back down due to health reasons - also remembers other changes over the years including the introduction of new technology such as communication head-sets, self-service check-outs and the growth in the variety and range of products available today, especially ready meals which Sue said “were barely heard of in the early 1970’s”.

Sue also saw the St Just shop extended to a 2,400 sq ft store in 2020 to extend the range and choice to better serve the community, and also says that nothing that she saw over the years could have prepared her for working through the pandemic where retailers rallied to support the more vulnerable in the community.

Sue, said: “It has been a great working life, I have thoroughly enjoyed it – especially meeting and serving our Members and customers in the community. It was also helpful and suited me when I was younger and when my children were growing up, the flexibility of the hours and having family nearby really helped. Although tastes and technology have changed over the years, many of the basics of working in a store are still the same – such as offering a friendly face and being there to serve the community with their grocery needs – and, I have no plans to ‘check-out’ and leave just yet."

Further information:
Andrew Torr
Co-op Press Office
M: 07702505551
E: andew.torr@coop.co.uk