The Co-operative Group has registered a logo with the UK Patent Office that is believed to be the co-operative movement’s new brand identity, The Grocer can reveal.
‘The Co-operative’ logo was recently registered on the trademark database for use across food stores and banking, financial, funeral, pharmacy and travel services. It also covers food and non-food.
The society has been driving plans to revitalise the movement since the Co-operative Commission warned that co-ops had to modernise to survive.
Recommendations from the commission’s 2001 report included unifying the entire co-operative movement under one brand and a change to the famous clover-leaf co-op logo. A spokesman for the Co-operative Group said the new branding would be revealed imminently. “We are looking at a branding project for the entire movement following the commission’s report. All I can say is that the project has been ongoing for some time now.”
Once the plans are unveiled, The Co-operative Group will be joined by four other leading societies in trials of the new-look stores. United, Scotmid, and the soon to be merged Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester and West Midlands Co-ops have all committed stores to pilot the new branding.
If the pilot is a success and every society agrees the new image is right, it is likely that the uniform look will be rolled out across the country next year.
>>p32 Analysis: Scotmid
Ongoing strike action at Asda’s Washington depot may disrupt August bank holiday trading. GMB regional organiser Michael Hopper said the union had agreed to take further strike action over pay and it is looking at which days would have maximum impact.

United Biscuits plans to axe up to 33 workers at its Carlisle McVitie’s biscuit factory as a result of damage caused by floods in January. It said it had restored the factory to 80% of prior production levels, but had been unable to achieve 100%. The shortfall had been made up by other plants elsewhere.

The food sector should prepare itself for further consolidation, Sir Gulam Noon, founder of Indian and Thai ready meal supplier Noon Products, warned after his company was acquired by Irish ingredients supplier Kerry Group for £124m this week. He said competition and price wars would force smaller companies to consolidate.

The Office of Fair Trading has cleared Diageo’s anticipated acquisition of the Irish whiskey brand Bushmills. Pernod Ricard sold the brand to Diageo for £200m in June as part of its takeover of Allied Domecq.

Leeds Co-op has posted a 20.5% increase in trading profits for the half-year to June 2005 on static turnover of £35.38m. CEO Alan Gill said the hike in profits was down to combining good business with co-operative values.

Morrisons has agreed a compensation deal for an undisclosed amount with a worker whose arm was badly mangled in a faulty electric pasta machine. Donna Saunders, 24, was working at a Safeway in Brighton in 2002 when the accident occurred.
Fiona McLelland
Asda Strike threat
33 job losses due
Noon warning
Acquisition cleared
Trading profits up
compensation deal