Steve’s been answering more colleague questions. This month we learn that half of you don’t use Double Discount after all; we find out why it’s a good idea to sell Co-op products in other businesses’ stores; Steve tells us what he thinks about Independent Societies taking our new Co-op Membership; and he also gives you a good reason to bother to vote in our Co-op AGM.

Watch, share and comment…

Read a transcript of Steve’s Q&A video.

Join the conversation! 8 Comments

  1. Interested by the being co-op remark and ISM members. Does this mean we the Co-operative Group consider ourselves to be more co-oppery than other co-ops? I very much doubt any such feeling of psychological us and them stands the test of reality or outcomes for respective members. I work, buy and am a member with serveral co-ops and our Group hasn’t got all the aces in the pack on our side of the poker board.

    With the Groups History these past ten years, its continual real terms shrinkage as a whole against the market on a decade by decade basis and how we exited Clothing, Banking, Travel, Pharmacy, Motor, ATMs, Security, Farming, Regional and Local Commitees, Micro Store/ Tobaconists, large and very large stores, Manchester landholdings, Nationwide land and property holdings, collapsing the SW Co-op membership scheme, paying 4 million to our CEO, allowing all one or all the other membership of the board (post-crisis supposedly all professional, and screened by CEO to be so, pre-crisis all unprofessional, screened by New Century House/ a few hundred active members (ignoring the inactive but regularly trading members) to be so)quite so unco-operatively I doubt the ISMs would find it very hard to say they are the real co-operative way, and we are just fakers that use their brand and operate a federal buying group they created and lead for our own un co-operative means. We don’t even pay interest on the dormant accounts of our honoured dead. Who are we to be Co-op?

  2. The ISMs do not deduct £1 off the first in store transaction, they do it off the first end or year share of the profits dividend payment and deduct it until the full £1 has been spent. Ie what we the Group did until 2015, and will still be doing for thousands of members who joined 2012-14 and before where no or insufficient divi was paid out. Steves misunderstanding is interesting as I hope we return to paying out end of year dividends based on surplus profit (rather than a fixed % of some sales) again.

    All that begs the question of why the £1 figure stays the same each year. Membership for Life for one small sum measured in a pence is fine, being co-op, equitable and is accessible to almost all members in areas where we trade or sell into, membership for a upfront £1 is the same figure now as when I joined the co-op in 2007, when it was a £1 and members accrued repayments on the loan of that pound each year with the end of year dividend like ISM new members do today.

    Would it matter much if we were to raise it to say £1.08p next year and then 8 pence extra a year (108 pence, 116 pence, 124 pence, etc) for all members who can then repay any loan of a pence or two by buying own brand or accruing a divvy. That 8% declining annual increase would have a impact on growth rate of the amount of member capital invested in the society, but I doubt any member would notice 80 pence of extra capital subscription out of a decade of trade and membership of the society. 80 pence from 4 million members would capitalise reasonable syndicated loan repayments on a lot of store refits and hedge for inflation with a degree of reserve and growth built into the numbers: Why has the £1 stayed £1 for ten years (since 2007), store refits haven’t got 40 percent cheaper, why has our share of the profits society share fallen so???? What does this mean for the strength of our balance sheet when we go out to the market to fund investments now as opposed to 10 years ago (when we probably had pretty much the same nominal number of members, and pretty much the same amount of nominal member share capital, but both may have been worth more to the society.

  3. I’ve felt recently that an NUS student with a members card has the exact same benefits as an employee. How come we can’t have bonuses if our store is running well and up on budget and low on waste. Its unfair how Head Office staff receive bonuses and store colleague don’t.. yet were on ground zero, so to speak selling the products to the customers

    • This is so true, the fact is double discount has gone and we were promised a pay higher than the minimum wage by 2.5 % ? Right and our hours gave been cut so we’re doubled worked and getting less for it.

      • Sean Double Discount is back as before, its time for other distributions and reward to also return to normal levels . The lowest Paid staff at the co-op had a 8% rise at a time when the business we co-own discovered 51 years out of 173 years of their hard work (2.5 billion of retained capital from end of year profits) had been lost within the Banking Group. If we’d lost the bank, we would have lost every penny pence of the entire group,because we keep all our money with the bank and none of it was protected if it had collasped, that included pay ready for payday and the uniforms, stock and place of work we go to every day in the maelstrom that would have followed as we were digested by the city and spat out businessless at the end. The Co-op can only protect us from the conditions and pay outside in the real world if we still have a co-op… too many people lost their jobs with the group, their stores, their business units, but we are still 60,000.

        The government is responsible for paying your social security benefits Sean and deciding the floor below which it is illegal to pay people. The effort to reduce eligibility to and amount of tax credits is on the left and the right, though they might take very different routes to it. The May 20th AGM is not the only vote being held this year that affects your skills,productivity and amount of under and over employment, maybe co-operate. We can only strive and wait.

    • Hi Danny,

      a co-operative member or indeed co-operative colleague member studying at FE, HE or with their professional association (Say Accountancy) has to spend £12 a year to get their NUS Card and has to do and pay that in addition to any other course or Student Union time/costs/work.

      Co-op Colleagues get to accrue pension and actually gain a income out of their engagement with the co-op / co-op associates. Undergraduates students pay 12-18 thousand pounds for the privilege of working 20-40 hours a week as a student and then £12 a year for the extra plastic card to carry around with no fob. Both get 10% plus the 5+1, plus the ability to vote if they spend 250 pounds. I know which one I prefer to be.

  4. Reward money shouldn’t come off stores bottom line, It should either come from marketing or reward centre bottom line. Then this wouldn’t effect our hours at Christmas or other times when customer use their reward.

    • Hi Louie, I don’t think Steve says that it comes off any store’s bottom line in this vid? He says that it’s all allowed for in the figures. I’d have thought that ultimately it’s just sales so hours calculations would be based on that (money or volume) would’t they?
      Can you expand more or perhaps have a chat with your manager about how hours are worked out in store.
      Thanks, Kevin

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