A special blog, from Richard, our Co-op Group CEO
“Today, after many months of hard work and planning, our journey back to Being Co-op has begun.
Here’s what we announced to our members at the AGM in Manchester.
The enthusiasm from nearly a thousand members in the room as we made the big announcements was tremendous. We’ve certainly come a long way in the last 18 months since we began our Rebuild of the Co-op.
5% for you, and 1% for your community
Our new Co-op Membership, which colleagues will use from the summer and all our members from the autumn, is the biggest innovation in our membership for decades.
5% for you
Every time you buy Co-op branded products or services – from a loaf of bread to a funeral plan – and swipe your membership card, we’ll give you back 5% of what you’ve spent.
You can then use that reward against your next purchase or save it for another time.
1% for your community
On top of this we’re going to add something that will bring to life our commitment to communities. We’ll give 1% of the value of the Co-op branded products you buy to local causes that you’ve chosen.
And finally, when we’ve completed our investment in rebuilding our Co-op, we’ll bring back the much loved ‘Divi’ – our annual share of profits to our members.
£100m a year to members and communities by 2018
We’ve identified 1,500 local communities, based around our Food stores and Funeralcare homes. Local community groups in each area have the chance to benefit from the new 1%. That means up to 4,500 local causes will be supported by our new Co-op Membership.
By 2018 we expect to give £100m a year back to our members and their communities, through the 5% and 1% rewards.
Ambitious for the future
Over the next five years we will:
- Recruit one million new members
- Double sales to our own members across our family of businesses
- And significantly grow our digital services
An icon from our past
As I announced to colleagues at the beginning of the month, we’re changing our look and bringing back the iconic blue clover-leaf logo to once again draw attention to all we stand for.
By Monday we’ll have rebranded seven Food stores and three Funeral Homes across the country in the new look, with many more in the next few months. In our Food stores more than 600 products will be in the newly branded packaging by the end of next week. For all of our businesses we’re changing our look online and creating new point of sale literature.
The rebrand of the entire estate will take between 3 and 5 years and we’ll achieve it as part of our normal refit programme.
Colleagues as our greatest champions
Next week our Back to Being Co-op experience for all 70,000 of our colleagues begins in locations across the country. I made it very clear to our members today that we see our colleagues as our greatest champions. We want you to know better than anyone what Being Co-op means for our members, our customers and for each other.
A better way of doing business
There was one more important announcement today.
We’ve passed £1.5m in our national fundraising to tackle loneliness in partnership with the British Red Cross. That’s a fantastic achievement. We’re on track to reach our £.3.5m target next year.
These are exciting times for us all. Our Co-op is back and proving we can do things in a different and special way.
Thank you for all you are doing as we go back to Being Co-op. And thank you for being part of a better way of doing business.”
Co-op Group CEO