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“60% of the Somerfield acquisition will be divested” - PennycookUPDATE: UK: Co-op to sell 60% of Somerfield estate in convenience drive

17 April 2014

The Co-operative Group will sell around 60% of the space it acquired as part of the 2009 acquisition of Somerfield as the embattled UK grocer increases its focus on its core convenience estate.

UK: Co-op sees "heavy losses" but food improving

17 April 2014

The Co-operative Group today (15 April) reported "heavy losses" after a "disastrous" year in 2013 but insisted a strategic shift at its food retail arm had resulted in an improving performance.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food this week

17 April 2014

Tesco was in the spotlight this week after the publication of its annual results confirmed what a challenging year the UK's largest retailer endured. Another UK grocer under scrutiny is The Co-operative Group, which reported banking-induced losses, but revealed it is re-sizing its food retail estate to give it more focus. Elsewhere, China's WH Group, of which Smithfield Foods is now a part, announced plans to list in Hong Kong and US group Post Holdings made another M&A move, with a deal to buy egg-to-dairy supplier Michael Foods.

UK: The Co-op secures leases for 54 pub sites from NewRiver Retail

7 April 2014

UK retailer The Co-operative Group has struck a deal for leases to 54 sites from AIM-listed real estate firm NewRiver Retail.

UK: COO role created in Co-op management review

19 March 2014

The Co-operative Group has today (19 March) announced a string of management changes at its business.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

17 March 2014

The biggest story of the week came as it started - with the announcement of the proposed merger between banana giants Chiquita Brands International and Fyffes. Elsewhere, UK grocers Morrisons and The Co-operative Group grabbed the headlines - the former for its bid to revive sales and the latter for the resignation of its chief executive.

Editor's Viewpoint - Anything but Co-operative

11 March 2014

The sense of disarray swirling around The Co-operative Group intensified today (11 March) with the resignation of CEO Euan Sutherland, who took a swipe at the way the UK retailer was being run. Sutherland's exit will add to the sorry headlines made by The Co-op in recent months but, more importantly, they will distract the company away from the work it needs to do to turn around parts of its business, including food retail.

UK: Co-op CEO: "Back me or sack me"

11 March 2014

Euan Sutherland, the chief executive of The Co-operative Group, has reportedly offered his resignation in a "back me or sack me" move in response to a high-profile debate about his 2014 pay agreement.

Comment: Growth of online channel good news for big brands

6 March 2014

Online sales in the UK are on the rise as consumers increasingly shop for their groceries over the internet. Online sales represent a key growth area the country's largest retailers are vying to exploit. In the UK - the birthplace of private label - online expansion is good news for the manufacturers of leading food brands, Katy Askew suggests.

UK: Co-op launches "generation two" c-store concept

5 March 2014

The Co-operative Group, the UK's fifth-largest grocer, is launching a number of initiatives it believes will reverse its declining market share.

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

3 March 2014

Tesco this week outlined plans for a fresh offensive to try to revitalise UK sales. Meanwhile, The Co-operative Group, which has faced its own issues in recent months, announced it was considering the sale of its farm business as CEO Euan Sutherland looks to reshape the mutual. In the US, PepsiCo once again reiterated it is not keen on splitting the company in two, while Hershey, Mars and Nestle breathed a sigh of relief after the price-fixing case it was tied up in was kicked out of court. Here is the week in quotes.

Comment: Co-op's smart move to win over consumers

17 February 2014

The UK's fifth-largest grocer had a challenging year - from trading issues to tabloid scandal and financial problems. However, Katy Askew argues the retailer's move to launch an open dialogue with shoppers on their business could see it re-engage with consumers.

UK: Asda, Sainsbury's neck and neck in UK - Kantar

14 January 2014

Sainsbury's share of the UK's grocery market now matches Asda, the country's second-largest retailer, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel.

UK: Co-operative delivers "encouraging" 1% increase in quarterly LFL sales

8 January 2014

The Co-operative Group's convenience stores have led the retailer to a successful final quarter as it celebrates a 1.0% like for like increase in sales against the same period last year.

just-food's review of 2013: discounters, multichannel key themes in grocery

6 January 2014

It can be difficult to identify common trends across markets but, in many ways, two key trends dominated the grocery retail sector in 2013 in a number of countries - the durability of discounters and the heightened interest and investment in developing multichannel retail businesses.

UK: Asda takes aim at discounters with price cuts

2 January 2014

Asda has set its sights on luring UK shoppers away from the discounters with moves to sell a range of household items for 50p.

UK: Co-op launches "January sale" promo

2 January 2014

The Co-operative Group has launched an agressive price promotion in a bid to tackle declining market share trends and grow basket size.

Editor's choice: the highlights on just-food last week

2 September 2013

Last week saw a story that has dominated our pages apparently laid to rest when it emerged that Fonterra's botulism recall was, in fact, a false alarm.

Interview: Co-op driving growth with increased retail investment

29 August 2013

The Co-operative Group has booked a jump in first-half losses as issues plaguing its troubled banking unit took a significant chunk out of the bottom line. However, the group's retail business saw a "solid" six months, with profits dipping only slightly on increased levels of investment. According to Steve Murrells, chief executive of food, these investments are moving the retail business in the right direction. Katy Askew caught up with Murrells to find out what the group has in the pipeline.

UK: Co-op sees "solid" food performance, bank woes

29 August 2013

The Co-operative Group posted a first-half loss of GBP559m (US$866.7m) due to problems at its troubled banking arm, but emphasised that profits at its food business were "solid".

Quote, unquote: just-food's week in words

27 August 2013

The results continued to roll in last week and we heard from the likes of Hain Celestial and Ahold on how they performed and their outlook for the year ahead. Just-food also spoke with Lindt & Sprüngli CEO Ernst Tanner, who told us about how the company is convincing consumers to trade up - and why he sees cause for optimism in developed markets.

UK: Co-op to revamp own-label range

5 August 2013

The Co-operative Group, the UK's fifth-largest grocer, is to relaunch its standard own-label range under a new name in a bid to boost sales.

UK: Retailers commit to price transparency campaign

1 August 2013

Aldi and UK retailers The Co-operative Group and Waitrose have signed up to a campaign run by consumer watchdog Which? to support simpler, clearer and more consistent pricing in supermarkets in the country.

UK: ABF sees positive grocery performances in UK, Australia

11 July 2013

Associated British Foods today (11 July) reported a 7% increase in third-quarter sales from its grocery business, helped by parts of its UK and Australian units.

UK: Morrisons' Pennycook takes Co-op finance chief role

5 June 2013

The former CFO of Morrisons, Richard Pennycook, is to join rival UK grocer The Co-operative Group as finance director.

Interview: UK firm Belton Cheese looks to drive international growth

1 May 2013

Belton Cheese has been on something of a roll, expanding its business into new international markets with fresh distribution deals in countries as far afield as the US and Japan. The group announced yesterday (30 April) that it is further growing its overseas presence through an agreement to expand into Russia's high growth dairy market. Katy Askew caught up with Belton sales manager Phil Jones to find out more.

Consuming issues - GM debate comes down to question of trust

25 April 2013

The GM debate has re-emerged in the UK in the last couple of weeks with the news four major supermarket operators will allow their suppliers to use GM feed for poultry and eggs.

The just-food interview - Associated British Foods CEO George Weston

24 April 2013

Discount clothing chain Primark again grabbed the headlines for Associated British Foods as it booked higher half-year profits and sales - and saw its shares hit a record high. But what about ABF's grocery business? Dean Best spoke with CEO George Weston about the performance of and prospects for the UK group's food operations.

UK: Union questions Premier bakery closure consultation

23 April 2013

A union representing Premier Foods workers has questioned whether the company entered into "meaningful" discussions ahead of its move to close its Birmingham Hovis bakery tomorrow (23 April).

UK: The Co-operative opens GBP22m distribution centre

23 April 2013

UK retailer The Co-operative Group has opened a GBP22m (US$33.6m) distribution centre in north Derbyshire that is expected to create around 300 new jobs.

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