The Co-operative Group is understood to have launched several in-store initiatives to boost sales.

Following two-hour in-store briefings with operations managers, staff have been discussing a “new sales drive” on Facebook.

The society is thought to have given each store free rein on how many products from its budget range Simply Value it can stock. It is also pushing its premium range, Truly Irresistible.

Compulsory store refreshes have also been introduced staff have to spend 15 minutes tidying the store, focusing on gondola ends and newspapers and magazines.

The Co-op has also adopted Somerfield’s NOOSE (never out of stock ever) initiative meaning that 100 must-stock items should always be available.

Staff have generally welcomed the changes. “The free run on Simply Value is fantastic as we can see how they perform in our stores and the computer will then hopefully learn they are great sellers,” said one poster.

However, staff also used Facebook to complain of “staffing issues” after a new store management structure launched in February.

Responding to their concerns on the site, The Co-op said: “We are confident that the new management structure provides sufficient hours to cover the store operation in some stores we are still recruiting to ensure we have the right people in these roles which may mean that management structures are not fully staffed as yet.”