Heart of England_Balsall Common_Store exterior

Source: Heart of England Co-op

It is increasing members’ rewards and staff discounts as part of the move 

The Heart of England Co-op has introduced a raft of money-saving measures to help staff and shoppers navigate the cost of living crisis.

Such actions include bumping members’ rewards from 2% to 3% until 25 March and doubling staff discounts on food shopping to 20%, for all 800 employees in its food and funeral divisions, as well as head office.

“Our rewards scheme is already generous but in these unprecedented times we felt it was important to give our customers an even bigger return on what they spend with us,” said CEO Ali Kurji.

“As a co-operative we are owned by our members who are also our customers. They pay £1 to have a stake in our business. Every time they make a purchase, they accrue credit to use at a later date in one of our food stores. We’re delighted to be increasing the amount they will receive.”

The society is also setting up a sponsored breakfast club to provide free cereal, milk and bread for employees. There is also an option for them to buy unsold bakery and hot food for 10p. Sanitary products are being given away as well.

Every month, five employees will also be randomly chosen to receive £100 on their reward cards. Internal food banks have been set up for items to be donated or swapped. To kick it off, the society is donating goods worth £50 at its various sites.

“These benefits have clearly come at a huge expense to the society and at a time when trading conditions are exceptionally difficult,” added Kurji.

“High inflation means there are pressures on our cost base on a scale we have never experienced in recent living memory. However, extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and we have taken this action because social responsibility is in our DNA.”

Employees have been sent an information pack containing advice on how to cope during the crisis. Those who need support can also reach out on a dedicated helpline.