'Toughest trading in recent history' forces The Co-op to cut back jobs

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

The Co-operative Group is to make “a number of redundancies” in its food business next month as it battles increased competition from the big four.

Seven senior managers have already been made redundant as part of a review “focused on driving efficiency and removing duplication of tasks and cost”, and a review is currently being carried out on field support teams in both retail operations and logistics at its New Century House HQ in Manchester. Customer-facing roles in stores and depots are unaffected.

In a memo leaked to the media, including The Grocer, this week, acting food CEO Sean Toal admitted the society was “going through a difficult and challenging period” and was facing “extreme challenges in a market where customers are spending less”.

“Competition in the market, particularly among the big four food retailers and others, has increased significantly in response to a growing demand for better pricing and more value-led offers,” he added. “It is no exaggeration to say that our business is experiencing some of its toughest trading conditions in recent history.”

The review will remove much of the duplication created when the society bought Somerfield three years ago. However, it would also “ensure our cost base is better aligned with our sales and profits”, said Toal.

Earlier this month, the Co-op Group revealed like-for-like food sales fell 0.2% in the 13 weeks to 31 December, although they had increased by 3.1% in the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the “report this comment” facility or email groceremails@wrbm.com


Related images

  • The Co-operative Group
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG



Good basic salary + excellent bonus opportunity + car + laptop + mobile phone + benefits
Search jobs
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up


I wish to receive the following newsletters:

For Members

Become a Gold Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a Finance Member to receive these newsletters:

Become a member of The Grocer



CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.


The Grocer's commentators and opinion makers