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John Lewis & Partners has announced it will trial a click and collect service in a number of Co-op food stores.

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Co-op Health has launched a new digital pharmacy offer and is trialling a more convenient prescription service.

Digitalising the pharmacy offer

Co-op is set to digitalise its pharmacy offer through the launch of its new NHS-integrated, Co-op Health app. The retailer will dispense prescriptions ordered through the app from its new pharmacy distribution centre in Lea Green, North West England. Customers can opt to have their prescriptions delivered to their homes or pick up their medication from any pharmacy nationwide. The app is designed to improve operational efficiency for the NHS, drive growth in online prescriptions, modernise the prescription process and provide greater customer convenience.

The news follows Co-op’s re-entry into the pharmacy market last September, through the acquisition of Dimec, a healthcare technology start-up.

Tim Davies, Managing Director of Co-op Health comments: “The pharmacy sector is at the start of a digital revolution, as consumers increasingly look for more flexibility and convenience in accessing their medication”.

Outlook: plans for further disruption

The retailer is also set to trial a UK first click and collect locker service on prescriptions in the coming weeks. The move means customers will be able to pick up their repeat prescriptions using a unique code or pin from Co-op food stores. Co-op has also laid out plans to enable customers to book and manage GP appointments via the app. The development is set to launch later this year and will work to relieve pressures on GP practices across the country. The developments align with Co-op’s continued efforts to create healthy communities and give people direct control over their health needs.

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Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest insight on Co-op here.

Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our Well Pharmacy, Northenden store visit report here.

Co-op has announced multi-million investment to create free community gyms, as it launches a major new advertising campaign.

Community focused campaign

Co-op has rolled out a new £10m advertising campaign that brings together the marketing for its food, insurance and funeral care divisions. The campaign champions Co-op’s work in bringing investment into local communities, with the strapline “It’s what we do”.

The campaign will initially be launched nationally, with more local targeting to follow. Co-op will roll out 120 out-of-home executions, with locally personalised messaging and adverts in 222 cinemas showcasing local causes in the specific areas.

Championing community health and wellbeing

As well as the new ad campaign, Co-op is partnering with anti-knife crime organisation Steel Warriors to create free community gyms. The gyms are located in areas impacted by knife crime, and are made using melted down and recycled steel from knives taken off the street.

Co-op’s investment will see 20 open air gyms built across the UK, with two new gyms built this year. At these gyms, Co-op is supporting Steel Warriors with featuring gym instructors at each gym to provide training sessions, with the aim of improving physical and mental health within communities. The initiative showcases Co-op’s values and ethics, which have always been a key part of the business, and comes after the retailer stopped selling single pack knives in its stores in a move to tackle the issue of knife crime.

Steve Murrells, CEO at Co-op, commented: “Community spaces have such an important role to play in fostering community spirit and the loss of youth centres and spaces has had a negative impact. This is something unique which makes a positive difference to communities. It literally adds steel to communities which are rallying against problems like knife crime by taking the weapons off the streets and turning them into street gyms”.

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Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest insight on Co-op here, including our Trading with Co-op report.

We’ve identified ‘Partnership Potential’ as one of our five global trends in convenience retail 2019. Read more about why and how convenience retailers are using partnerships to grow their businesses in our latest report here.

Superdrug and Co-op set to enter a food-to-go partnership and Co-op set to open new distribution centre.

Co-op tie-up sees Superdrug enter the meal deal market

Health and beauty specialist Superdrug has entered a new food-to-go partnership with Co-op.

The two are trialling a new offer enabling Superdrug shoppers to pick up their lunchtime meal deal for under £4.

The offer will be available in seven branches located in key travel hubs. Stores included in the trial are East Midlands, Bristol and Edinburgh Airports, and in Brighton, Sheffield, and London’s Victoria and Fenchurch Street Railway Stations.

The move follows the news that Boots is trialling a 10% student discount offer, which brings its meal deal offer down to an extremely competitive price of £2.96.

Chris Brown, Superdrug Head of Personal Care & Convenience comments: “We are delighted to be introducing Co-op food-to-go in some of our travel branches. We know our customers will appreciate the range available, and the fact it offers a great value choice for busy commuters and travellers.”

Extending the reach of Co-op private label products

Co-op will supply a range of over 40 of its products to the health and beauty specialist, including vegan and gluten-free options. The move follows a two year food-to-go development programme for Co-op and aligns with its continued efforts to drive its private label range, expanding into new channels and reaching new shoppers.

The news comes as WH Smith's trial with Sainsbury's, which began last summer, ends. The trial saw Sainsbury's roll out its food-to-go products in nine WH Smith stores.

Matt Hood, Trading Director, Co-op Food, said: “We are continually exploring new ways to bring our award-winning products closer to shoppers and to reach new customers. Becoming food-to-go partner for Superdrug is an exciting development as Co-op continues to grow its brand, further increasing the accessibility of own-brand products."

Co-op set to launch new distribution centre

Co-op is set to open a new distribution centre at Symmetry Park, Biggleswade.

The 661,000 sq. ft site, set to open in early 2022, will support existing stores and growth plans for London, the South and South East.

Andy Perry, Supply Chain & Logistics Director, Co-op, said: “The infrastructure and site selection will deliver greater agility, scale and efficiency - improving service and availability at existing stores while building capacity to support our store investment programme and ambitions for continued growth. The new site will provide greater scale while future-proofing our operations.”

The news follows the opening of its £6mn distribution centre at Inverness Airport Business Park, Scotland, in August 2018.


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Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest insight on Drugstores here.

Retail Analysis subscribers can read and download our latest insight on Co-op here.


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