It has been announced that the current Chief Operating Officer of Southern Co-operative food retail, Phil Ponsonby, is to join The Midcounties Co-operative as General Manager of its food retail division, as of April this year.
Brings extensive experience of the co-operative model
Over his time at Southern, Phil Ponsonby has been widely recognised as one of the most effective retail operators within the wider co-operative movement. While both Midcounties and Southern are closely aligned with the national co-operative movement in terms of buying, ranging and store formats, Southern has built a strong platform of differentiation versus its competitors within its region; based around a systematic approach to improving in-store service and engagement with local communities.
Larger stores represent a key challenge
Like the wider co-operative movement The Midcounties society is now primarily focused on strategic development in the convenience retailing sector, however it also retains a portfolio of larger supermarkets focused on servicing weekly trolley shops, and which account for a significant proportion of overall turnover. And one of the key challenges facing Ponsonby in his new role, will be to ensure that these stores can continue to trade effectively alongside Midcounties' convenience portfolio, especially as the CRTG buying group, on which it depends, becomes increasingly focused on the specific needs of small stores.
The co-operative movement is a leading force in UK convenience ...
... and remains ambitious to expand further. IGD's one-stop-shop Convenience summit offers insight on all key segments of the channel, and features Michael Spencer from Central England Co-operative to share insight on how to get the most from the co-operative convenience model.