The Co-op is owned, not by investors or shareholders, but by millions of members up and down the country, that’s what makes us different. One of the ways our members have a say in how our business is run is by suggesting sites for new stores. All successful suggestions are rewarded with £500 worth of Co-op gift vouchers.
Andrew Nicholson, one of our members in the North West, was the guest of honour at the opening of our Horwich Chorley Road store, a site he thought would be a great place for us to serve the community. We ask him why he chose it and find out what being a member means to him.
How long have you been a Co-op member for and what do you enjoy about being a member?
Over ten years now! The fact that the Co-op is run by members is one of the things that makes it different from other big businesses. We have a real say in the future of the organisation and that’s really important to me.
The suggest a site initiative is also fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because I was successful! It’s a really good way for people to be able to tell the Co-op where they think their new stores should be.
Why did you suggest this site?
The site had been derelict for a long time, it was becoming a bit of an eyesore. I knew it had potential though because it was on a busy road, close to plenty of houses and other shops. As a member, I really wanted it to become a Co-op because I like the food and think the quality and choice is good. I actually attended the opening of the store, it was good to see it all come together.
What are you planning to spend your vouchers on?
I really want to go on holiday soon. I didn’t manage to get away this year or last year, so am hoping to get a skiing trip in this winter. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while now.
What would your top tip(s) be for other members who are thinking about suggesting a site?
The site needs to be big enough for the store, back-of-house storage area and, ideally, parking. There needs to be enough passing trade to keep it busy, so it should be in a residential area or close to busy office buildings, schools or other shops. There are some tips on the suggest a site website if you want more details. If in doubt, have a go, they can only say no!