Co-operative Group

  1. Supermarket offered 'rent-free' to charity

    BBC Radio Devon

    A community project in Torbay has been given an empty supermarket to set up shop.

    The "Make Borrow and Mend" repair project had been looking for a home, but were taken care of when the Co-op said it could use its empty store at the Crossways Shopping Centre - rent free.

    Dan Best works for the Co-op in Paignton to help build links with the local community.

    He said: "With a charity coming to take over a premises the Co-op currently doesn't need for a while, it allows them not to pay certain business rates, so it works both ways.

    "But also the Co-op is there for the community, so we try to help wherever we can."

  2. Co-op condemns attack on staff member

    Ethan Connolly-Forster

    BBC News

    The Central England Co-op has condemned an attack on a worker who was knocked unconscious by a man who then stole his mobile phone.

    Leicestershire Police were called to the Co-op's Markfield Food Store on Main Street to a report of an assault at 15:40 on Friday.

    It was reported a man had been "verbally aggressive" to another man before pushing him, causing him to lose consciousness.

    Police said the suspect then took the victim's mobile phone before leaving the scene.

    The victim, who is in his 20s, was taken to hospital and later discharged.

    Co-op main street

    Craig Goldie, Central England Co-op loss prevention manager, said: "We strongly condemn any form of abuse of violence towards our colleagues who are just doing their job and are working closely with the local police force in order to find those responsible."

  3. 'Heroes' found at local Co-op, says MP

    An MP has paid tribute in the House of Commons to the staff at his local village store.

    Sir Charles Walker, Conservative MP for Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, said workers at the Goffs Oak Co-op are providing a vital service for local residents.

    "I am sure they are concerned about their families, I am sure they are concerned about their own welfare," he said.

    "You always get a cheery smile, a warm welcome and the impression that nothing is too much to ask.

    "There are many, many heroes and a number are found at the Co-op in Goffs Oak."

    Co-op in Goff's Oak
  4. 'We should all be treated as equals' by Co-op

    Christine Green

    More than 400 employees have launched an equal pay claim against the Co-op supermarket chain.

    The Co-op shop workers, mostly women, say they're being underpaid compared with warehouse workers, who are mostly men.

    The Co-op said it was "confident that our reward practices are fair".

    Co-op supermarket team manager Christine Green was one of the women to start the equal pay case. She's worked at the Co-op for six years.

    "I feel personally that the job we do - we're front of house, we're dealing with customers, cash, money, shoplifting, we're having to do all of the deliveries, on our own... I feel that we should be equally paid for the job that we are doing," she said.

    "I think the warehouse staff have an important job. We have an important job - to make the company run. And we should all be treated as equals.

    Read more about Christine's story here.

  5. Co-op supermarkets latest to face equal pay claims

    Co-op store

    An equal pay claim has been launched on behalf of supermarket workers at the Co-op with the first hearing for the claim at Manchester Employment Tribunal on Friday.

    Lawyers say that more than 100 mostly female employees are claiming that their work is of equal value to that of men who work in the supermarket’s distribution centres.

    Law firm Leigh Day said it believes up to 50,000 current and former employees could be entitled to bring such an equal pay claim against the Co-op.

    The Co-op told the BBC: "We have received a small number of equal pay claims. Unlike some of the bigger food retailers, we do not have large scale multiple claims.

    "It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on individual claims, but we will be defending these claims and are confident that our reward practices are fair.”

  6. Co-op to open 30 new stores before Christmas

    Co-op sign

    For a change, here's some good news from the high street: the Co-op is opening 30 new stores in the run-up to Christmas.

    The move will create 500 jobs at the convenience store chain and all stores will run on 100% renewable electricity, while providing a funding boost for local community causes through Co-op’s membership scheme.

    "We continue to look for new sites which support our ambition to operate at the heart of local life and enable us to give back, and create social value in our communities,” said Stuart Hookins, Co-op’s director of portfolio and development.

    New Co-op stores include:

    • Barrachnie, Baillieston Road
    • Biggin Hill, Rosehill Road
    • Bognor Regis, Chichester Road
    • Bristol, Coronation Road
    • Broughton, Garstang Road
    • Burgess Hill, Kings Weald
    • Cambridge, Cherry Hinton Road
    • Carmarthen, Jobs Well Road
    • Chichester, East Street
    • Derbyshire Lane, Sheffield (S8)
    • Edinburgh, Milton Road West
    • Forest Hill, Stanstead Road
    • Forres, Grantown Road
    • Galston, Henrietta Street
    • Gravesend, East Milton Road
    • Greenwich Peninsula, Chandlers Avenue
    • Hoylake, Market Street
    • Ilford, Longwood Gardens
    • Milborne Port
    • New Waltham, Station Road
    • Newbury, Monument Close
    • Northwood Hills, Joel Street
    • Pontesbury, Hall Bank (Shropshire)
    • Purton, Station Road
    • Rochester, Riverside
    • Salford Quays
    • Stirling, Causewayhead Road
    • Stornoway, Cromwell Street
    • Wemyss Bay, Shore Road
    • Willesden Green (NW2)
  7. Why Co-op's funeral business is struggling

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    A casket

    Revenue in Co-op's funerals business is down due to an unexpected fall in the death rate - but why are Brits dying less often?

    Steve Murrells told Today: "The weather plays a part and the fluctuation in the death rate is ever thus. I suspect if we do have the Beast from the East returning early next year the death rate will start to rise again."

    Also dragging on growth, the retailer has put its funeral pricing on hold in response to a more competitive market.

    Mr Murrells explained: "I think it is well accepted that [the funerals industry] is going through a significant change, our focus now is about resetting our business model and making sure we’re match fit for a changing market."

  8. Is Co-op ready for no deal?

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    worker

    Co-op's chief executive Steve Murrells spoke to Today following the publication of the group's results.

    Is the Co-op worried about claims published by the government today that the UK could see shortages of certain foods in the event of a no-deal Brexit?

    Mr Murrells told Today: "As I have said before, we are prepared for the worst case, we’ve been working with suppliers for many months now."

    He said he expects to see a bit of price of inflation some areas of fresh food, but the retailer has contingencies in place.

    "We have taken on extra space. For challenges in fresh areas we’ve bulked up on some ambient grocery goods. That should put us in good stead."

  9. Co-op funeral revenue falls

    bag

    Half-year profits at the Co-operative Group fell to £25m from £44m a year earlier but Steve Murrells, chief executive,said the mutual had "enjoyed another good six months".

    Some £29m was returned to members, the Manchester-based group said.

    It said it had recorded 22 consecutive quarters of growth in like-for-like sales - which strip out store changes - in food with total sales up by 3% and like-for-like sales up by 1.7% in the first half.

    In its funeral business revenue fell by 6% because of an unexpected 10% fall in the death rate and a "conscious decision to hold prices in a changing and competitive market".