I’m surprised to read The Co-op Group is a staunch supporter of gay marriage. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - some of my best friends know someone who’s gay. Just that you don’t expect Britain’s least successful grocer to be taking a stance on gender politics. It’s like asking Lidl what it thinks of North Korea’s nuclear tests (“nicht sehr gut”, apparently). Perhaps The Co-op is chasing the pink pound, hoping to stage ceremonies in-store (how lovely!). The happy couple will get a bit extra on the ‘divi’. I assumed this was a reference to some arcane sexual practice until Karoline (with a K), being of an age to remember, got out her book of Green Shield Stamps and took me through a history of retail sales promotion.
To spare us this sort of thing, we’ve been trying to encourage her to ‘do a pope’ and retire for the benefit of mankind, but she’s not taking the hint. “As long as the supply chain is collapsing around our ears, someone with 40, er, 20-plus years of frontline crisis PR experience is invaluable,” she maintains. One of her bits of sage advice is never to overestimate the good sense of the public. Apparently they have been flocking into Holland & Barrett trying to buy veggie burgers. The last time I was in one of these deeply depressing stores, the only things you could get were vitamin supplements and whey powder. Who knew they were still in the horseless burger business?
For retail innovation look to the Scottish store Foul Fashion (how apt), which was offering a ‘sex guarantee’ with its clothes this Valentine’s Day. Money back if you don’t pull in one of their outfits, apparently. But who needs a guarantee? Don’t all clothes work that way?