Members of Plymouth & South West Co-operative Society have voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging with The Co-operative Group.

The merger was backed by members at meetings in Torquay and Plymouth last week. Two further special general meetings are to be held next month before the merger is finalised in September.

CEO Douglas Fletcher said without the merger the society would struggle to provide stakeholders with dividends and rewards that matched those of The Co-op Group as well as correct underfunded pension schemes.