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48 Co-op


Company: Co-operative Group

Brand value: US$1,492 million

Headquarter city: Manchester

Change since 2017: -11%

Industry: Retail

Year formed: 1844

The Co-op is a network of convenience stores and small supermarkets that prides itself on its ownership by individual members rather than large investors. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, with more than 2,600 stores; its prices tend to be somewhat higher than Asda and Tesco, with its ethical mission setting the brand apart Profits are distributed to members via money, rewards and offers, meaning the Co-op can help contribute to local communities. In 2017, the Co-op reported similar revenues to the previous year, but turned around a £132 million loss in 2016 into a profit of £72 million in 2017. The Co-op has bought the Nisa chain of small supermarkets for £143 million, after members backed the takeover. More than 17.5 million people are part-owners of the Co-op, and many of them qualify to vote on decisions about the strategy of the business. The Co-op also has long promoted ethical trading such as Fairtrade initiatives, and efforts to improve the environment. This year, it has announced it will switch its own-label water to recycled plastic bottles, saving an estimated 350 tonnes of plastic a year. Co-op advertising over Christmas featured real-life communities rather than actors, with personal stories running across TV, video-on-demand, digital video, out-of-home, press and radio. In early 2018, the brand launched a new strategy to create a “year of eating together”, focusing on helping people unite over meals made from fairly priced, quality and ethically sourced products. Aside from supermarkets, the Co-op also offers banking and funeral services.