CEO Steve Murrells says Co-op has clear ambition to be the UK’s best community retailer

CEO Steve Murrells says Co-op has clear ambition to be the UK’s best community retailer

The Co-operative Group is to pour GBP100m of (US$168m) investment into slashing the costs of basic household products in an apparent bid to keep up pace with price cuts taking place across the UK grocery sector.

The Co-op, the country's fifth-largest grocer, told just-food today (24 April) it was making an "inward business investment" into a permanent price cut of some of its goods which included bread, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon and bananas.

Price cuts began yesterday and would continue "over the next few weeks and months", a spokesperson said.

In a statement issued by the firm, Steve Murrells, CEO of The Co-op's food retail arm, said: "The Co-operative Food is changing. We have a clear ambition to be the UK's best community retailer, delivering deliciously food conveniently, and we understand what we need to do to get there.

"Our plans are challenging yet achievable. By introducing permanent price reductions on hundreds of key product lines, we are further responding to the needs of local people in providing them with a compelling and truly convenient shopping experience."

As part of the price commitment, The Co-op is expanding its fresh bread range with the addition of four large family-sized loaves (800g) at just 75p each.

Last week, Tesco announced it was dropping the prices of over 30 products including bacon, baked beans, broccoli, peppers, lettuce and bread.

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The Co-operative Food today (24 April) underlined its ambition to be the UK’s best local food retailer, by announcing an ongoing commitment to lower prices on hundreds of everyday essential items.

This price commitment, positioned in store as “Fair & Square prices”, will transform the community shopping experience for millions of co-operative customers. 
  
It will initially concentrate on essential staple products such as bread, milk, eggs, chicken, bacon and bananas and is being supported by a high profile TV advertising campaign together with other promotional activity to support The Co-operative Food’s 2,800 stores nationwide.

The initiative directly addresses consumer feedback, which positively acknowledges the investment the business has made in terms of product quality and new-store formats, and also shows that shoppers want the Co-operative to invest in price in key category lines.

Steve Murrells, Chief Executive, Retail said: “The Co-operative Food is changing. We have a clear ambition to be the UK’s best community retailer, delivering deliciously food conveniently, and we understand what we need to do to get there.

“Our plans are challenging yet achievable. By introducing permanent price reductions on hundreds of key product lines, we are further responding to the needs of local people in providing them with a compelling and truly convenient shopping experience.”

The Co-operative already has a community food store in every UK postal area and is committed to opening more than 100 further stores this year and over 150 community stores per annum over the next four years. The food strategy is totally self-funded and the price investment is being supported by significant on-going efficiencies and cost reductions being made by the business.   

As part of the price commitment, The Co-operative Food is expanding its fresh bread range with the addition of four large family-sized loaves (800g) at just 75p each.

The new bread range in Loved by Us packaging will also feature a guide on how to make loaves last even longer with easy-to-follow freezing instructions.

A “taste guarantee” will also be found on pack, in which shoppers can get their money back if they are not 100% satisfied with the taste and quality. 

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned by nearly eight million members.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer operating across the country with almost 2,800 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. 

Amongst its other wholly-owned businesses are the UK’s number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain, a growing legal services operation and a major general insurer.

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group, which operates 4,500 outlets and employs approaching 90,000 people, is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes.

Original source: Co-Op