700 words approx. 3-4 minutes to read

Dear Co-op members and customers

I’ve never known anything like what we’re experiencing right now. I know you’ll be as worried as I am about the health of your loved ones and the livelihoods of those around you. The Co-op’s got a critical role to play in supporting our members, customers, and colleagues as well as local communities across the country. My heartfelt commitment to you is that we will work through this, together, in the most co-operative, responsible and compassionate way we can – just as you would expect us to. While I don’t have all the answers and the information we’re getting is changing as fast as I can type this note, I wanted to let you know how we’re responding.

Our food stores

In our food stores we’re working round the clock to make sure our shops remain stocked. You’ll have heard the request from the Government not to panic buy. I know you’ll be thinking of your friends and family as you shop, as well as yourself, but please shop normally so there’s enough for everyone all of the time.

We’re also going to do everything we can to make sure our most vulnerable customers get the food they need and we’re looking at a few different options to make this happen.

It’s not just customers in our food stores we’re thinking about either. We know that for many children who get free school meals, lunch is the main meal of the day, so if school closes unexpectedly there’s a risk they go hungry. We can’t let this happen.

So, we’re stepping in and giving 6,500 students that have free school meals at our 25 Co-op Academy schools a £20 voucher for every week of unplanned closure. This can be spent in any Co-op food store. But it’s a drop in the ocean when you consider there are 1.4 million kids on free school meals in this country. So that’s why today, I’ve also asked the Government to lead a nationwide effort to make sure no child goes hungry just because they can’t go to school.

Our Funeral homes

Our funeral care teams also have an extraordinary role to play. We’re calling on the Government for support because our whole industry is going to be turned upside down by this crisis and we need a joined up approach. In the meantime, our colleagues do difficult work with utmost care and compassion, and no matter how they’re challenged in these coming months, I know that won’t change.

Co-op Health

You’ll likely already know friends and family members who are self-isolating at the moment. I know this will be hugely difficult for everyone but particularly if you have an existing condition that requires a repeat prescription. If you do, then please make use of our Co-op Health app where we can arrange delivery of your prescriptions, free of charge, across England. Unfortunately, we haven’t got connectivity for the rest of the UK just yet but we’re working on it.

Supporting your community

I’m sure you already know, but at the Co-op we passionately care about communities. And right now, community is everything! So we’re urgently and carefully looking at how we can use everything we’ve got to help – from our 700 Member Pioneer colleagues, to our local community fund, to our partnership on mental wellbeing with MIND, SAMH & Inspire. We’re also working on a new online platform called ‘Co-operate’ which connects people to local support and information. I can’t think of a time when this kind of tool has been more needed and so we’re pulling out all the stops to build it faster and get it to more communities.

Right now my teams are working out the best way for us to help, practically and financially, where we’re most needed. Colleagues right across the business are working exceptionally hard, while caring for themselves and their families too. I’ve never been prouder of them or more grateful for their commitment.

These are exceptional times but I promise that we’re here for you and we’ll work to support each other through this.

Take care
Steve

Steve Murrells
Co-op CEO

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Join the conversation! 205 Comments

  1. We had cu6buying us gloves as we dont have any.no sanitizer we need masks and screens.i live with my 80 year old parents and a carer for my dad .I DO NOT WANT TO TAKE THIS HOME TO THEM.do something
    to prove you care about your staff

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    • Hi Sharon, We’ve invested £3m on new protective equipment for our store colleagues. We’re installing thousands of protective screens along with supplying gloves and hand sanitiser for our frontline colleagues. Find out more: coop.co.uk/coronavirus#coronavirus_our_colleagues_section ^Cat

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  2. Hi Co-Op,

    Given this virus is passed in the air, could you please advise if guidance has been issued for the heaters in stores. After shopping at my local store & being nearly blown off my feet by the in-store ventilation system working at full pelt, it seems daft to put measures in place for your staff to meticulously sanitise equipment *then* allow in-store ventilation systems to blow airborne particles all over the shop.

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  3. We are implementing a number of social distancing measures in-store, including reducing the number of tills open, two-metre floor spacing guides, limiting the number of customers in-store and encouraging contactless payments. 🦠 Latest info: https://coop.uk/2UhE0E9. ^Jamie

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    • Look after your staff in the little shops. They are as important as the bigger shops but just smaller, less space so the staff are in a more vulnerable place. For the sake of your staff help them as you are nothing without them.

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      • Hi, We’ve invested £3m on new protective equipment for our store colleagues. We’re installing thousands of protective screens along with supplying gloves and hand sanitiser for our frontline colleagues. Find out more: coop.co.uk/coronavirus#coronavirus_our_colleagues_section ^Cat

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  4. I live in a village called Bramford nr Ipswich, the deliverys are awful nothing delivered for days , this was going on before out break of virus, Barham another villiage gets regular delivery, our village has a lot old people, needing this service, please can you help,

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  5. In my area of Dartford Kent DA1 and DA2 post codes , we are lucky as we have 6 local Co-op Stores. Local Churches have set up helplines to provide food parcels to help people in particular need and difficulty . Are Co-op store managers allowed to donate food to local food banks to help at this unprecedented time ?

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    • For the next 10 weeks, we will give £150,000 worth of food to FareShare, who provide essentials to over 4000 community food banks across the country. ^Scott

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      • Dear co-op,I was a lgv driver for you untill 2016,due to not getting on with a couple of team leaders you had,I have gone on to be a self employed driver,and due to the out break of the covid 19 virus sites have shut down,And at this time,I would be prepared to put our differences in the past and deliver food to the stores again and help you

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  6. You are not doing enough . You could have easily learnt from the Likes if Spain and Italy . They have security to Marshall shoppers and limiting shoppers . The staff at our small coop are being abused by angry people who get what they want . It’s not fair you are banking bits profits and your staff are unprotected and you made little effort to enforce social distancing . It’s pretty shocking . You should be showing greater leadership and setting examples .

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    • Aggression and violence is not tolerated in our stores, we appreciate everything that our colleagues are doing in these difficult times. We are implementing a number of social distancing measures in-store, including reducing the number of tills open, two-metre floor spacing guides, limiting the number of customers in-store and encouraging contactless payments. 🦠 Latest info: https://www.coop.co.uk/coronavirus ^Scott

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  7. From the Guardian today: Waitrose has announced a package of strict new measures to back the government’s plea for tighter physical distancing protocols, to help customers shop safely while ensuring its partners are protected.

    These include:

    Installing checkout screens – and special protective visors to be worn by staff.
    Limiting customer numbers in store so that physical distancing can be properly observed.
    Introducing new stickers at the floors of checkouts and customer welcome desks to manage distance between customers. These will read: ‘Leave space. Leave Safe. Help us to protect you.’
    Introducing dedicated “marshals” per store to ensure the two metre rule is respected when queueing inside and outside.
    Fewer checkouts in order to enable staff to maintain physical distancing; where two checkouts are back to back, one will close.

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  8. Will we going to join the too little too category?

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  9. Hello, my 17 year old son works part time in one of your stores. What steps are you taking to protect your staff. How are they meant to keep the 2m distance? Are you going to provide masks and gloves?
    Many thanks
    Rich

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    • Hi Rich, The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers. We are implementing a number of social distancing measures in-store, including reducing the number of tills open, two-metre floor spacing guides, limiting the number of customers in-store and encouraging contactless payments. 🦠 Latest info: https://www.coop.co.uk/coronavirus ^Scott

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  10. Does anyone know what times have been alloted for the elderly please.

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  11. Steve
    Can you please tell me what you’re doing in local small stores to keep social distancing when most small stores don’t even have much more than the minimum legal wheelchair access room round the store? Do you feel you are doing the appropriate steps to keep your staff safe and the families they come home too? Young staff members very anxious parent.

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  12. No attempt at all at social distancing in stores, people brushing past each other at tills. You need to address this urgently

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    • I can’t understand why your stores are not taking things seriously I made comment on facebook page they said they would bring it up to area manager. The Westfield road Dunstable has Danish Pastries apple, custard etc loose in wicker baskets anyone can pick them up & put down again causing the coronavirus being passed on

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    • Totally agree with you. My son has asthma and my fiance coming home each night moaning about the lack of PPE and safety measures for the staff. I work for MMP and I work from home at the moment and the only possible virus contraction would come from that shop. Safety measures need to be put in place ASAP

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    • We are implementing a number of social distancing measures in-store, including reducing the number of tills open, two-metre floor spacing guides, limiting the number of customers in-store and encouraging contactless payments. 🦠 Latest info: https://www.coop.co.uk/coronavirus ^Scott

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  13. I’m the mother of an employee and I am very worried at the lack of protection given to staff and customers in our local store. Both staff and customers have families to go home to so protection is vital. I spoke with the assistant manager of my local store to ask what was being done to protect staff and I was told “they have hand gel”. I was told that head office haven’t told them anything at all and that they can’t implement their own measures unless head office tell them. WHY HAVEN’T YOU SAID ANYTHING? Currently, any member of staff on the tills have to handle money, touch all the goods and, as its policy, they have to talk to the customers at a very close distance. The staff have no gloves, no masks or protective eyewear. If one member of staff contracts the virus, it’s very likely most of them will (and their families), and then the store won’t be able to open at all. Meanwhile the customers are queuing at the tills back to back as there’s no tape on the floor to remind people where to stand. (This is such an easy thing to do, I can’t understand why it hasn’t already been done.) To keep staff and customers safe, why not close the stores to customers but have them phone in or email their orders and then the order can be picked up when it’s ready, or staff could perhaps deliver to those that can’t leave their homes. BY DOING NOTHING YOU ARE PUTTING EVERYONE AT RISK.

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    • Completely agree, also there’s been many, many similar posts on this blog. WHY AREN’T CO-OP SENIOR MANAGEMENT RESPONDING TO THESE POSTS??? I also suggest putting UV lamps over tills and credit card machines as UV kills viruses, can you have the decency and courtesy to respond to your staff and staff’s relatives concerns please?

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    • I agree, it’s about time staff were given more protection, they are all at risk in the current situation, many of us are worried and really stressed.

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      • The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers. ^Scott

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    • Hi there, thanks for the post. Please ask your child to speak to their manager, who has the most up to date information. They can also read our dedicated webpage for Co-op Colleagues: https://colleagues.coop.co.uk/coronavirus-advice

      If they have any further questions, HR contact details can be found on the same Colleague website.
      Thanks, ^Scott

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    • I totally agree with this comment I visited my local coop last week a member of staff returned to the till point after his break eating a cookie, continued eating it whilst serving the next customer, fingers in mouth then handling packages and money, no hand gel on the tills. What’s going on this thing is killing a massive amount of people I personally won’t go in again.

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    • I agree mother of worker very worried as Co-op not helping stores and employees as other food stores are @stevemurrells do something now

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    • Hello, which store are you referring to? We have been communicating to our store teams. Thanks, ^Scott

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  14. Echoing many other previous comments, I would like to beg you to implement some kind of social distancing measures ASAP. You are wilfully putting the lives of both your staff and your customers at risk by not doing so. If you really care about the communities in which you operate, please give some kind of leadership on this. I go to my local Co-op virtually every day to fetch my newspaper, as you don’t deliver them, and I feel despairing at the total lack of reminders and encouragements for social distancing. I am far from the only concerned customer locally, and you may find that people will soon vote with their feet.

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  15. Coop needs to implement some form of physical barrier for social distancing when queueing to pay, as it seems some people just don’t understand it’s concept!

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    • Thanks for your message. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thank you, ^Scott

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      • Hi Scott
        I can now see some radical changes in the shop and I feel some security at last. My fiance can now work as a key worker. I was close to telling him to give it up. Safety for the staff is absolutely necessary and it will keep this supply chain moving and severing the local community. Thx nancy

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  16. In Malta temperatures are taken on entry to supermarkets and compulsory hand sanitiser applied I see a variety of measures in local shops here but in Malta a barrier prevents customers getting too close to staff and in small shops only one at a time allowed in.

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    • Thanks for your message. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thank you

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  17. Staff in Woburn Sands have been brilliant as always. Like others our store is being emptied by people coming to it from a distance who are plainly going from shop to shop – passing their cars you see full bags of shopping on their seats. Is the answer to restrict sales to those who have Coop membership cards?

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    • Hi Murray, thanks for your compliment, it’s appreciated. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thank you , ^Scott

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  18. As a co-op member of staff, why do we have to put ourselves at risk at catching this virus? People are not taking the social distancing seriously and the amount of customers who lick their fingers to separate their bank notes then hand it to you is disgusting ( at any time) could we not consider closing to the general public and just have staff putting food and essential items together as a package and customers pay online or over the phone. Then they can come and collect them. I would happily spend my time doing this as it would be safer for everyone. A customer could call us and we could leave it outside for them to collect when we see they have arrived!

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    • I am one who is at risk and totally agree with this comment. The most effective way for elderly shoppers is to have a click and collect like other
      major suppliers. The Coop keeps it’s loyal shoppers and everyone is
      safer. If our local chip shop can offer this service surely the Coop can.
      My local branch is Alford.

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      • I’m 70 and on my own. My coop order never arrived. I went out early yesterday morning breaking my isolation. The store had no fruit no vegetables no eggs. I am a coop member and a constant customer. Why tell people you are going to deliver when you fail to do so. I realise at this time you are under a lot of pressure. But you could have told me you weren’t going to deliver my order.

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    • Great idea
      very happy as a vulnerable customer to do this!

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    • I completely agree, my son works in the Co-op and I’m not happy at the risk he’s being exposed to. We have a friend who’s 25 year old brother is in a coma in ICU with Corona Virus, it’s not just the vulnerable who are dying from this. Also co-op workers will spread the disease to family members, the co-op needs to act fast as seems to me Co-op senior management are not taking the welfare of their staff and families anywhere near serious enough!!

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    • To be honest I tried to use Coop online a week or two ago and I had done everything they had advised (ordered well in advance) then when it came to the day, my order was cancelled last minute! They told me they had no stock so couldn’t fulfill my order! I had to call up to find out why and even then I just got a “sorry”. I fall in the at-risk category and so want to avoid going out but regardless I’m having to rely on take away as I literally cannot get groceries anywhere!

      Co op said although I paid for my stuff and had a slot, the order isn’t picked until the courier picks it up so they don’t know they don’t have what you want until they come and see! I don’t know anyone else that does their delivery like that.

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    • yes this is the best solution I cant understand why this isn’t already happening

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    • We’re encouraging contactless payments in order to reduce personal contact but we recognise that many of our customers like to pay with cash and we will continue to accept cash. We are looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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    • We are implementing a number of social distancing measures in-store, including reducing the number of tills open, two-metre floor spacing guides, limiting the number of customers in-store and encouraging contactless payments. 🦠 Latest info: https://www.coop.co.uk/coronavirus ^Scott

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  19. Hi, In this difficult time the whole community must pull together and either ignore or shame those who take advantage of others. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. Remember everybody who is selfish and profiteers from the suffering of others will be remembered when this crisis passes sadly probably even more so than the many thousands of people who are at this time risking their own health to keep us safe.

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  20. You are completely behind the curve with other food retailers Customers need you to be proactive far more quickly Check the information your local stores are giving on their web sites remember you are not a charity you are a retailer It is good that you like most food retailers
    Support good causes however do it do not advertise it
    Get to grips with this crisis in all your shops follow what other supermarkets have been doing a week ago then we might forgive you for the higher than market prices on a lot of goods lack of quality on some goods lack of choice for an organisation which is non profit Making!

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    • I thank you all so so very much you are just as important as nhs caus with out yourself iwe would get nothing . I am running low know and all my family are at risk but i am at very high risk so cant go out so dont know what i am going to do

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    • Hello, we’ve been asked by our communities what we’re doing to help so we’re making sure people know. Thanks. ^Scott

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  21. I would like to say a big thank you to one of your fantastic employees in the salcolm branch Tom Duncan. My father is 87 and is a carer for my disabled brother. He was unable to get milk,bread or eggs from his local shop in Modbury ,Tom heard about this and delivered the items my dad required leaving them outside the front door. Glad there are people like Tom about as I live over 2hrs away and worry about them. His kindness has eased some of my stress. Well done Tom. Best wishes and stay safe. Helen Davies Cornwall.

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  22. its all very well volunteering to shop for the elderly/vulnerable in your community. But when you get to the shop (any time of the day) the shelves are empty! i welcome the restriction of only so many per item. The staff are doing an amazing job under very difficult circumstances so big thank you to them.

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    • Thanks for your comment. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thank you. ^Scott

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  23. Steve I’m very concerned at the lack of protection for your staff, I’ve been in stores in the South Hams area of Devon (Kingsbridge, Modbury and Salcombe specifically over the last few days) and see very little evidence of staff wearing gloves? virtually zero protection from air-borne infection? customer distances from the tills MUST be extended to a safer distance and all air con checked for adequate filter systems. You constantly talk about customers and what the Co-op are doing BUT you’re nothing without your staff so PLEASE RAMP UP THEIR PROTECTION NOW, many will have vulnerable family member’s self isolating at a shared family home so you have a duty of care to staff and their families. We also know from Italy this virus is killing young healthy people not just the vulnerable!

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    • Hi Duncan. The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers. ^Scott

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      • You need to control the amount of people in the shop at one time. Mark the floors for distance from person to person. Provide masks gloves and if possible provide clear perspex shield like morrisons have. Putting measures in place and show the staff you value their lives too

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  24. Staff at our local village Co-op store in Kingsley, Frodsham, have been brilliant, despite being under considerable pressure of work.
    However, shelves have been stripped bare of fruit & veg, milk, bread, toilet paper etc for a couple of days now. Seems to me the reason is that over demand in large supermarkets at nearby large towns has driven shoppers (and not a few hoarders) foraging out in rural outlying village stores, thereby stripping them of stocks and denying local customers, many of whom are vulnerable with no means of transport, of their groceries.
    I guess the activities of these outlying shoppers (and hoarders) have so far been beyond the control of local staff to do anything, but it’s encouraging to see that you are now limiting items to two products per customer, which should hopefully make groceries once more available to your local customers.

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    • Hello. Thanks for your comment. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thanks, ^Scott

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  25. I’m on a 16hr contract???? Yet been asked if I could do 39hrs!!!!! That’s fine whilst things are as they are… But then when all over ya put back on 16hrs….. Doing 3hr shifts or 3.45mins so u don’t get a break….. Yet whst those in issolTion ur risking ya own health by covering???????

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  26. I’m on a 16 hr contract yet been asked to do max 39hrs….thats OK till its all over?????? Then ur put on 3hr shifts. Or 3hrs 45mins so u don’t get a break!!!! I’m risking myself. Even though I don’t have an underlying health condition.

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  27. Protect the employees at all costs. They are a vital part of communities getting through this. Can they be provided with gloves, masks or even protective eyewear? Only accept cards so the staff don’t have to handle coins. Provide hand gel for them and let them take regular breaks outside. Practise social distancing throughout the stores, especially at the till queues as at the moment the customers are standing right next to each other. My local store is fantastic and the staff there are all friendly, helpful amazing people. They need to be kept as safe as is possible.

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    • I agree staff need to be protected but I have just been to my local branch and asked if there was going to be a particular time for the over 70 and vulnerable to shop. The person on the till informed me she thought not in order to protect staff. Over 70 etc are advised to stay in where possible to protect us from everyone else not the other way round. I think the staff need to be educated in this fact.

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    • The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers.
      ^Scott

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  28. Just shopped at warley Rd store in Blackpool the staff were really really helpful and explained the situation and how they can help. Their nothing is too much trouble attitude even applies to security staff
    Pleasure to shop thank you to all the stuff and especially the management Wendy Evans shopper who lives on Whalley Road send

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  29. Yes, when & what time will the venerable shopping times begin?

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    • Hi Charmaine. From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers. ^Scott

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  30. Just been in to the Thame Co-Op in Oxfordshire. The assistant on the till did a large sneeze and wiped her nose on an old tissue. No hand sanitiser or wash of hands. She then handled my food and when I asked her about her sneezing she said she was fine. Needless to say I will not return or use the food. Please ensure your staff follow the correct hand washing procedure.

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    • I, a 75 year old with health conditions I queued at our busy local coop at Great Ayton North yorks, whilst my wife with more severe health problems than I waited in the cold outside, to find out when we could shop safely. None of the check out staff could tell me but shouted down the store to another member of staff if they knew. She answered ‘ they’re reviewing it next week’, I answered ‘that’s too late we need food before then’ her answer was ‘well were open now.’ This answer was met with laughter from the queuing customers.
      Is this he level of understanding that the Coop & the general public have for their older at risk customers. God help their parents & grandparents because they will get no help or consideration from any of those it that store.
      ps. This is the only food store in the village where we have lived for most of our adult lives. ‘Shame on the staff & all those in that shop, I hope none of them live to feel so unconsidered & unwanted.

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    • Hi Mal, thanks for the comment, this is concerning to read. Can you confirm that this is the store you’ve visited? https://finder.coop.co.uk/food/store/OX9-3DZ/6-high-street Thanks, ^Scott

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  31. Over 80 year olds. Both cancer patients. Trying to order on line from ANY supermarket. No joy. Restricted to homelife onlyi during this crisis.

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  32. Are we isolated elderly to assume we can turn up at 8 am to shop before others. I cannot get a telephone call to my local co-op answered (as advised) to find out about this. Many thanks.

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    • Hi Margaret. From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers. ^Scott

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  33. Dear Steve,

    Please can you confirm whether the Co-op will be starting a designated early morning shopping hour for older shoppers and those with health conditions who have been asked by the government to stay at home? I’m specifically concerned about Co-op stores in “coastal retirement towns” like Sidmouth on the East Devon coast.

    Your clarification would be greatly appreciated.

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    • From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers.
      ^Scott

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  34. I am self-isolating as I am in my seventies and suffer from asthma. Disappointed to discover that there is no Co-op home delivery service.

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  35. Protect your staff please let them wear mask and gloves and provide them hand sanitiser. Give them the exact time for their tea break / lunch break . They are working hard!

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    • The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers. ^Scott

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      • As of close of business 23rd March, the store I work in has not received hand sanitiser but we did receive sanitiser wipes today. A customer gave me a
        Bottle of hand sanitiser & I ctied

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  36. Hi
    I have noticed that very little food has been put in the food banks when there is obviously a greater need.
    I wondered if we could have a campaign Buy one and Give one free.
    I think people would respond to this.

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    • Food banks have seen a significant drop in donations. For the next 10 weeks, we will give £150,000 worth of food to Fare Share who provide essentials to over 4000 community food banks across the country. ^Scott

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  37. When will you start special hours of shopping for the over seventies and vulnerable people

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    • From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers.
      ^Scott

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  38. Thanks for your helpful comments; as a couple in their seventies We wish to continue shopping at our local Ombersley Road Co-op in worcester. The manager has been most helpful and even used her personal e-mail address to take and deliver an order.Can the Society take this approach and offer a bespoke services to those in isolation; use e-mail to order and staff to deliver. What a super response from the leading co-operative retailer!

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    • Hi Roger, thanks for your comment. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. Thank you, ^Scott

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  39. I am a colleague and have to work still to serve the public but I have Asthma bronchitis and am putting myself my health and my familys health at risk whilst other businesses close up for two months…how is this fair?? Every staff with Asthma should be offered SSP immediately for a period until it is safe to return as this is a great risk to us with a life-long chest condition.I was born with Asthma.

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    • I agree Jenny, my wife works in our local Coop in the north east of Scotland.
      I have a heart condition and emphasema my wife is my full time carer, she contacted her manager to inform him that in accordance with government protocol she must self isolate, she was told she will get no SSP. I find this shocking coming from a family and community oriented company like the Coop. They don’t seem that concerned of the situation some employees find themselves in.

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    • Hi Jenny. Please speak to your manager, who has the most up to date information. You can also read our dedicated webpage for Co-op Colleagues: https://colleagues.coop.co.uk/coronavirus-advice If you have any further questions, HR contact details can be found on the same Colleague website. ^Scott

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  40. PROTECT YOUR STAFF and the public! Coop staff come into contact with hundreds of customers a day, checkout staff handle every item and come face to face with every customer. The nature of this virus means talking at a normal distance is dangerous. It can survive on surfaces for days. Many staff have older relatives. Get ahead of your competitors, allow staff to wear gloves, masks, glasses and sanitise regularly. Install Far-UVC lights if you are really serious.

    Like

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    • The safety and wellbeing of our colleagues is our priority and we are immensely proud of our frontline colleagues and the work they are doing at this unprecedented time to serve our customers, members and local communities. We have taken immediate steps to help our front-line colleagues to follow all the precautions advised by NHS and PHE and we’ve built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent hand washing throughout the day. Additional hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and soap have been provided to all stores and they are all following upweighted, rigorous cleaning protocols of the store and all fixtures. We are working hard with suppliers to maintain stock levels, to help our colleagues in stores offer choice to customers. ^Scott

      Like

      Reply
  41. I would so appreciate an over 65’s only hour of shopping please. I am trying to self isolate for my husband’s sake but I see my local online grocery store has no free slots for home delivery until 6th April now.

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    • I would also like to know what or if arrangements are made for the elderly to shop?

      Like

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    • Hi Anne. From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers. ^Scott

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      Reply
  42. 2 points on ‘panic buying’.
    i) if using the membership card enables the coop to identify purchases, is it viable to restrict all purchases to the card only and thus prevent people from doing ‘repeat’ visits to circumvent bulk buying proscriptions.
    ii) limit purchases to 1 small basket/person.

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    • Hi Stephen. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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  43. Could you possibly get your staff to deliver locally to the older members of their community for a small charge

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    • Hi there. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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  44. Just throwing this out there as a suggestion- could you link up with volunteer groups in your local area to deliver shopping and daily newspapers, to those who are elderly and vulnerable in the coming weeks?

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    • Hi Amy. Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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  45. Our local co-op operates a delivery service BUT only for In-store purchases. Not much use when the Governemnt orders you to stay at home. Please try to organisea remote ordering/delivery service.

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  46. Thankyou for your information another way you can help is to drop some of your extortionist prices they are much dearer than even M&S and in my community a lot of the people cannot afford your prices so they are going to our local supermarket where the food is much cheaper and that is not good business for yoy.

    > WordPress.com

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  47. I am volunteering for an organisation providing support to the elderly in our community and will be shopping for them in the coming weeks. Are there any agreements with local organisations to ensure essential supplies are available/ could be pre-ordered?

    PL20

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    • Hi Sophie, Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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  48. Thanks for your very compassionate and helpful letter. As an over 70 member, I am pleased to know that the Coop will continue to do its part. I’m so pleased that you are also thinking of the young students on free school meals.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  49. Hi
    Will we start operating a time for the vulnerable to come and shop at certain times of the day like Sainsburys Morrison’s and Iceland?
    Thanks
    Debbie

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    • Hi Debbie. From Saturday 21 March, if you come into the store between 8.00am – 9.00 am Monday to Saturday, and 10.00am – 11.00am on Sundays, our colleagues will be prioritising and caring for vulnerable customers. Cheers, ^Scott

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  50. Social distancing policy in consumer retail co-ops! I observe in the Philippines (Quezon City) large stores putting a physical object between each till/ worker and consumer to maintain social distance. (In this case tables). Perhaps better than tape on the floor? Just a thought in case we eventually run out of colleagues to keep retail units functioning.

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    • Dear Steve thankyou so much for you’re update, it’s much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    • Our teams are currently looking in to a wide range of options to help support colleagues and communities in these difficult times. ^Scott

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      • In my experience, this does not appear to be the case.

        My brother works in one of your stores and is serving 1000 plus customers per day without anyone in-store controlling distances between customers or limiting the number of people coming into the store. He has a newborn baby at home, and when expressing his anxiety about his health, and the potential he has for bringing the virus home, he has been told to stop acting like his family are more important than anyone elses and if he doesn’t come into work he will be put on unpaid leave. I find the absence of reassurance from his manager unbelievable, but ultimately this is coming from a lack of action further up the chain.

        What I want to know is, when Waitrose and Lidl have just announced new, very thorough, measures to protect their key workers, whether the co-op are going to immediately follow suit to make sure they ensure the protection of the physical (and mental) health of their staff at this time?

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

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Co-op Leaders' Blogs, Steve's Blog