Sir; The news that United Co-op had reported sales up 7% to £490m for its food divisions made great reading for an ageing co-operator like me. For far too long it has been the multiples who have grabbed all the retail success headlines and the poor old co-op movement has been sidelined by the media as an organisation which never quite made it in the battle for share of the high street. Having followed the news columns of The Grocer for more than 40 years, I have often been embarrassed at the failure of what was once dubbed the "sleeping giant" to really make a nationwide impact on the shopping scene. Sure there have been pockets where the co-op symbol has more than held its own against Tesco and the rest, but the dreams of a national society, so clear in the 1960s, have never really been fulfilled. So full marks to Martin Beaumont and his team for doing so well. Retired co-op manager Sunderland {{LETTERS }}

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