Co-operative Membership smashes three million barrier

05 August 2008

Membership of The Co-operative Group has smashed through the three million barrier according to figures released today.

Prior to the re-launch of the famous membership scheme in September 2006, the Group had two million active members. By last November that number had grown to 2.5 million and today the Group can boast 3.1 million members.

The figures also show that the Group is continuing to attract younger members and more men than previously. Two years ago before the new style membership scheme was re-launched just 16 per cent of the Group’s old loyalty cardholders were aged under 40 and 25 per cent were men. An analysis of new membership applications shows that almost 40 per cent are aged under 40 and that almost 35 per cent are men.

Pictured: Patrick Allen, Director of Marketing at The Co-operative Group, with his membership card.

Members receive a cash payment based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the Group’s businesses, which include: The Co-operative Food; Travel; Pharmacy and Funeralcare as well as The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance.
The value of each point varies year-on-year because the dividend payment is linked to the profits of The Co-operative Group, which were up 8.6 per cent at £431.6m last year. For 2007 a point was worth 2.63p up from 1.43p in 2006.
The total share of profits dividend paid to members in June was  £38.1m compared to £19.6m the previous year.

The Group is currently in the midst of the largest re-branding exercise in UK corporate history. When the £1.5 billion investment is completed all of the Group’s outlets will be trading under “The Co-operative” banner. This year alone, the Group has re-branded over 1800 outlets – more than McDonalds and Starbucks put together, have in the UK.  Food stores that have been refitted continue to perform very well showing like for like sales growth of around 12 per cent.

Patrick Allen, Director of Marketing, said: “The growth in membership underlines the fact that the Co-operative is enjoying a renaissance.  People are trying out our new look stores and they obviously like what they see. So much so that they are deciding to join us.

“The combination of high quality products coupled with the ability to influence our business, and contribute to our community and social goals agenda, are compelling reasons to join the award-winning Co-operative – recently named the UK’s most trusted and ethical brand.”