I’ve had my say on the future of The Co-operative Group. Last week I filled out its newly-launched online survey.
“The Co-op Group has its fingers in too many pies”
Beth Brooks, deputy news editor
Like a lot of respondents, however, I felt I hadn’t been able to make my views known. Many of the multiple choice questions were leading, and I only had two chances to say what I thought - to describe The Co-op in one word, and to explain what it should do (‘if anything’) to ‘encourage more people to shop with it’.
This week, it revealed it was selling its “non-core” farming arm, with its pharmacy business also under review. So much for Have Your Say!
That said, only 2% of the produce from its 15 farms is sold in Co-op food stores. And though the Pharmacy is profitable (and larger rivals Boots and Lloyds would surely trigger competition concerns) it’s easier to sell this arm to private equity players than either the bank or the food business, and non-core.
No one wants to see The Co-op Group broken up, but with losses set to total £2bn. says the BBC’s Robert Peston, and its fingers in too many pies, disposals could be the only way to turn around its fortunes.