Nick Crofts, The Co-op Member Council President, shares his thoughts.
“What a fantastic week! I thought we couldn’t top the announcement of the new look and member offer at the AGM but when news hit of our 5 million plus new Co-op cards landing on members’ doormats, we hit the headlines for all the right reasons again.
I’m also pleased to see that our Interim results are in line with the plans of our Board as we all set about building a better business that’s more relevant for members, customers, communities and colleagues.
We’re now over halfway through the Rebuild of the Co-op and it’s pleasing to see that the investment being made in the business we own is feeding through to sales growth – that for me means we’re getting things right for our customers. Our sales revenues are up 2.2% to £4.7 billion in the first half.
Through Rebuild we’ve seen pay increases for our colleagues, price cuts for our customers and I’m proud to say we’ve started to make membership rewards more meaningful. It’s important to note that this significant investment is being made, without increasing our debt position beyond the £0.9 billion the business has planned for.
Members’ Council meeting
We had a full review of the Interim results and a comprehensive Q&A session with Ian Ellis our Finance Director.
Richard Pennycook gave us an update on progress with a clear message that we’re rebuilding for the next generation. This last week has been a big step but only a first step. We all know on our day we can say we’re as good as anyone but this is not consistent and that’s where our focus will turn.
Tackling Loneliness and Isolation
I’ve been on briefings with our Public Affairs team at the party conference engaging with the world of politics on the progress we’re making in the campaign selected by our members to tackle loneliness and isolation – we launch our full report later in the year – so that’s something to look out for. To date we’ve raised £3m – a fantastic achievement by members and colleagues.
We have regional events where you can come and get a ‘Taste of the Co-op’ and find out more about what you can get out of the Co-op for you and your family. Watch out for more details later this month.”