Manchester-based Co-op Group, the UK’s largest consumer co-operative, has announced its growth plans as it looks to increase the number of its member-owners from 5 million to 8 million by 2030.
“This new target follows the release of data, which shows that momentum in Co-op membership continues to grow significantly ahead of our expectations,” said the Manchester group, which employs 60,000 people and has an annual turnover of over £11 billion.
“The Co-op now has 5 million active member-owners, up almost 15% on the previous year.
“There was a 21% increase in members shopping with Co-op during December, demonstrating the value that members place on the benefits they receive and highlighting the wider resonance of member ownership.
“This growth aligns with broader growth ambitions across the Co-op’s core businesses – Food, Funerals, Legal and Insurance – aiming to broaden reach and scale and attract, reward and engage member owners.”
The Co-op said its food business is targeting an even greater share of the UK convenience market through omni channel growth, with ambitions to acquire new Co-op stores, more than double the number of new franchise stores, open 400 new Nisa stores, and accelerate its share in the quick commerce market to over 30%.
Additionally, its Life Services businesses — Funeralcare, Legal, Insurance — plan to extend and improve the product ranges and bring on board new partners, whilst making membership more “integral.”
The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives. It operates almost 2,400 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,000 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.
Co-op Group CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said: “Over the past year our underlying financial strength has enabled us to support our colleagues and their communities, through the cost-of-living crisis.
“By placing our member-owners firmly at the heart of our Co-op, we’ve seen a marked increase in new members joining us and greater engagement from existing members.
“As we enter our 180th year, we now have a unique opportunity to make this a golden era of co-operation. Co-op membership is not a loyalty scheme but rather a different way of doing business.
“We exist and are run for the benefit of our millions of members.
“As owners of our business, our members not only benefit financially from their membership, but also have a say in decisions we take as a business and help support and make a difference to issues that our members care about in communities across the UK.
“We are looking to not only provide greater financial benefits to our members through lower prices and offers across our businesses, but also to deepen our engagement with members on the decisions we take and the issues that matter most to them.”