steve murrells

Steve Murrells

The Co-op’s new CEO is bringing back an employees’ double discount scheme just two months after it was scrapped, following complaints from staff.

Steve Murrells made the announcement in a blog post on the company’s website this morning on his first day in the job, after hearing staff were “really disappointed about the cancelling of double discount”.

The scheme, which had given staff 20% off when shopping at Co-op, was introduced in 2013 to compensate workers as the company was not in a position to reward members following its banking crisis.

But it was scrapped in January this year following the introduction of the 5:1 membership scheme, which gives 5% back when purchasing own-label products on top of a 10% discount.

Explaining the u-turn, Murrells said the disappointment among staff had been “echoed strongly during a recent council conversation”.

“My philosophy on leadership is quite simple, it’s to listen and then to lead,” he wrote.

“And that’s listening, not just through the normal business unit sense of the word, but right the way across this wonderful society. Listening to the council, listening to the senate, talking to the federal independent societies and also reaching out to Co-operatives UK and hearing some of the things that are important and that are on their agenda.”

Staff and their partners will be able to use the reintroduced discount on three as-yet unselected one-off dates over Easter, the August bank holiday, and the Christmas period.

The 5% own-branded discount will also apply, meaning staff who are signed up to the membership scheme will get the equivalent of almost 25% off Co-op own-brand products..

Murrells replaced Richard Pennycook as group CEO after Pennycook announced last month he was to step down to pursue a portfolio career.