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Co-op has announced it will revamp and relaunch ten in-store coffee shops in partnership with Churchill Catering.

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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.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, has been announced as the winner of the Veuve Clicquot Businesswomen of the Year award.

First female leader of a food retailer winner

Jo Whitfield, who has previously worked for companies including Ernst and Young and Matalan, has become the first female leader of a food retailer to win a prestigious businesswoman of the year award. The Veuve Clicquot award recognises women in business and was awarded to Whitfield due to her role in boosting profits and sales for Co-op’s food division, as well as increasing the sustainability of Co-op stores.  

Commenting on the award, Whitfield said: "I'm proud to lead a business that gives back £39 million to local causes, has the lowest plastic footprint of any retailer and is innovating for customers with pay-in-aisle technology and home deliveries on eco-bikes”.

Grocery Girls

Jo Whitfield’s not-for-profit women’s network, Grocery Girls, was also recognised. The network is aimed at supporting women to achieve their career ambitions across the grocery industry.

Commenting on the network, Whitfield said: “There are still opportunities needed in many workplaces to match the diversity of modern society, which is why I felt it was important to launch a new network to develop and foster female talent in the grocery sector”.

IGD Live 2019

6-7 November, London

Congratulations to Jo Whitfield, Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the year! Jo is a keynote speaker at IGD Live in November, don't miss your chance to hear from her!

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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.

Delivering convenience for customers

The click and collect trial, part of John Lewis’ strategy to reach more customers, will initially be launched in Co-op’s Manchester Support Centre and will offer next-day click and collect for customers in areas with a smaller John Lewis store presence. Further roll out is planned for five additional stores across London, Manchester and Nottingham from May 28th 2019. Customers will also be able to return orders to the Co-op stores throughout the trial.

The move follows a similar trial of a click and collect with Booths in 2018, which has since been expanded to eight stores. John Lewis customers can also already collect orders from Waitrose & Partners stores.

Mark Pettigrew, director of innovation and format at Co-op, commented:

“It is all about creating ease, convenience and choice for today’s time-pressed shopper. This is an exciting development, innovations and new technologies are driving a number of initiatives and creating value in our communities through increased offers and services for our members and customers”.

Benefits for both parties

The John Lewis click and collect service at Co-op stores provides benefits for both companies. For Co-op, the retailer will see benefit from increased traffic into store. The returns service also gives increased convenience to John Lewis shoppers, whilst also reaching new customers in areas of lower store presence.


We assess the state of play in the UK food-to-go market, with current and future market size projections, designed to help you understand the dynamics within each segment to make the most of your food-to-go growth opportunity.
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An essential summary of trading priorities, latest developments, and other key commercial insights for Co-op.
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