The Co-operative Group asks nation to help shape its future

17 February 2014

The Co-operative Group today (17 February 2014) announces that it has taken the decision to ask the nation to help shape the future of the 150-year old organisation.

The Group has launched the biggest piece of research and engagement in its history, asking the public, including its customers, colleagues and members, to “Have Your Say” on the issues that matter to them.

The Co-operative will use its distinctive position as the country’s leading customer-owned and community focused business to ask people for their views on the future of the Group and the big issues facing communities across the UK. These views will feed directly into the Group’s wider strategic review, the results of which will be unveiled in May. 

The survey, which has been developed in conjunction with YouGov, will pose a detailed set of broad-ranging questions, designed to capture people’s thoughts on The Co-operative and how it can have a positive influence on their lives and on their local communities. The themes will include:

  • What The Co-operative means to people now and what it should stand for in the future
  • The most important issues facing local communities and the role The Co-operative can play in making a meaningful difference in those communities
  • How The Co-operative shares its profits
  • Whether The Co-operative should make political donations
  • What The Co-operative could do to improve its goods and services

The research will also provide a rich insight into the mood of the nation, national values and life in the UK. The themes here will include:

  • Our national values – what we think we stand for
  • Views on the society we live in and what is important in the UK today
  • People’s expectations of big businesses and how they can be a force for good
  • The institutions we hold up as pillars of our society, and those that we don’t

Euan Sutherland, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group said:

“We will be asking people up and down the country what they believe The Co-operative should really stand for. This is an unprecedented move for an organisation of the size and the scale of The Co-operative and the results will feed directly into our wider review of strategy and purpose.

“In recent years The Co-operative has lost touch with its customers and members and with the communities in which it operates – we haven’t been listening. As a new management team we are focused on renewing The Co-operative and the UK public will be vital to that process.

 “If we are to successfully serve the communities in which we operate, to become as relevant today as we were in the past, we need to hear directly from the communities and the people we serve. We have seen incredible loyalty from our customers, colleagues and members in recent months – now we want to reward that loyalty.”

For further information contact:


The Co-operative Group

Russ Brady - Tel: 07880 784442
Catherine Turner - Tel: 07834 090783

Tulchan Communications

Susanna Voyle and Jonathan Sibun - Tel: 020 7353 4200

Notes to Editors:

As part of the survey, the UK public, including customers, colleagues and members, will be asked directly for their views. There is no limit to the number of people that can take part.

The survey will be launched in tandem with the “Have Your Say” advertising campaign across national and regional media.

The survey will be open from Monday 17 February until 24 March 2014, and should take around 20 minutes to complete.

The findings of the survey will be shared at The Co-operative Annual General Meeting in May 2014 and published online.

Please find here a link to our video news release, B-roll footage, and campaign images

Please find a link here for further images relating to The Co-operative

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business owned by nearly eight million members.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer operating across the country with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. 

Amongst its other wholly-owned businesses are the UK’s number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain, a growing legal services operation and a major general insurer.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group, which operates 4,500 outlets and employs approaching 90,000 people, is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.