Co-op has announced it has raised £300m through a sustainability bond focussing on Fairtrade, as it expands its online offer to new stores and areas.
Support for Fairtrade producers
In a first for a UK retailer, the Co-op has issues a sterling denominated Sustainability Bond, raising £300m. The proceeds will be allocated exclusively to the retailer’s work on supporting and promoting Fairtrade, with support for Fairtrade producers and their communities. The net proceeds will be used in bringing Fairtrade products to customers, marketing and promoting Fairtrade products and wider Fairtrade movement. The bond showcases Co-op’s values and focus on ethical trading, which have always been a key part of the business. The move comes as some retailers are scaling back their investment in Fairtrade.
Investors will be paid an annual interest of 5.125% over the five year Sustainability bond. Raising funds this way enables Co-op to access long-term funding at an attractive rate and enables global investors to increase their focus on investments that meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and key environmental and sustainability targets.
Steve Murrells, CEO of Co-op, commented: “The popularity of this bond demonstrates confidence in the Co-op’s growth strategy and in particular how we’ve placed sustainability at the heart of our future plans. Co-op was an early pioneer of Fairtrade and now with the support of like-minded investors we can grow it further, opening up new opportunities and creating value for our members as well as producers and communities in developing countries”.
Extension of delivery trials
The Co-op has also expanded its online offer, with the introduction of new stores and areas to the two-hour delivery service as well as its trial with Deliveroo for deliveries.
In March, the retailer launched an online home delivery service, offering customers delivery via electric bike through a dedicated online store in as little as two hours. The service was initially available to shoppers within a 2.5 mile radius of a Co-op store on the Kings Road in Chelsea, and has now been extended to a second Co-op store in Battersea.
Co-op’s delivery scheme with Deliveroo launched in Manchester in 2018, with further roll out to London at the start of 2019. The Deliveroo trial has now been extended to a store on Dyke Road in Brighton. Shoppers are able to purchase from the convenience store via the Deliveroo website. The offer includes BWS, ready meals, confectionary, snacks, as well as some household and personal care products.
Want to know more?
Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest insight on Co-op here, including our Trading with Co-op report.