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Co-Op’s membership soars

Supermarket chain Co-Op continues to enjoy a renaissance as young people flock to sign up, with a membership increase of over 700,000 in the past 12 months – taking the overall membership to over 13.6 million.

The grocer, which focuses on ethical practices, now operates more than 6,800 independent co-operatives, with membership driven by the Co-Op Group along with community-owned businesses and credit unions.

Co-Op’s directors have attributed their success to ‘political shocks’ as consumer confidence and spend decreases and shoppers look out for discounts.

“Underlying the political shocks the country has experienced over the last year is a call from many parts of the UK population for an economy over which they have more of a say, and from which they get a fair share,” said Co-Op’s UK secretary-general Ed Mayo.

“As organisations owned by 13.6 million people, the UK’s 7,000 Co-Ops give people a say in what they do and how their profits are used.

“They offer a practical way to re-imagine an economy in which people have more control over their homes, work and local areas.

“It’s no surprise we’re seeing a spike in interest in co-ops, whether it’s social care providers finding that a co-operative approach can give its users and workers a voice, or young designers and web developers seeing co-ops as a natural way to collaborate at work.”

Co-Op reintroduced their loyalty programme last year in an effort to draw back customers. Members receive a five per cent reward on every brand purchase, with a further one per cent going to charity.