Costcutter and Co-op logos

Today (29 November) we’ve confirmed an agreement that will see Co-op become the exclusive wholesale supplier to Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) and the 2,200 Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh, Supershop and kwiksave convenience stores across its network from Spring 2018.

The announcement follows the news that our offer to buy Nisa Retail Ltd (the wholesale business) was approved by their members earlier this month.

Find out more

You can read the full press release here, and we’ll publish more information as soon as we can.

Jo Whitfield
Chief Executive, Co-op Food

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. will our depots be able to cope with another 2200 stores to deliver to?

    • Hi Adi, I’ve asked the team who have been managing our recent wholesale deals: The service to our own stores will not be affected by our supply to Costcutter or Nisa. The main focus of these deals is the increased buying power that supplying these extra stores would give us, and the opportunity to reach out to more customers with our Co-op products. The 2,200 stores in Costcutter’s network have previously been supplied through a third party logistics model. Nisa currently services the 3,200 stores in its network through its own logistics network so we’ll be considering all the options for combining the networks over time to make sure we offer the best operation for Co-op, Nisa, Costcutter and other independent societies. The market is changing all the time, and the Nisa acquisition remains subject to CMA approval, so we’ve a number of options open to us to supply the 2,200 stores in Costcutter’s network with, or without, Nisa being approved. Thanks, ^Kevin

  2. Will we be able to use our staff discount in any of the shops that become franchises?

    • Hi Scott. Yes. As with our current franchise stores, any Costcutter that became a franchise would offer our Membership (5+1 rewards and discount for Colleague Members). if you were buying a Co-op product in a Costcutter store that wasn’t a franchise though, membership, and hence discount, won’t apply.
      Hope that helps, ^Kevin

  3. Is there any information available on the exact definition of what a “Co-op franchisee” is? With some of the independent stores involved having that as an option, I am curious if they will look like a co-op but not operate in a co-operative manner (i.e member owned etc).

    • Hi Rob, I’ve just answered Hannah’s similar question below. Have a read of this story about the first franchise that opened earlier this year:
      Thanks, ^Kevin

      • That’s great….but doesn’t cover important co-op values other than “push the co-op branded products as hard as possible”. Will the staff enjoy the same level of wages/benefits/employment rights as regular co-op store staff?
        When customers walk into these franchise stores they will fully believe and expect it to operate to the same principles and that their money being spent in there will be partly used in an ethical and fair manner as we normally do. Sales of water helping to provide clean water overseas and our other charitable endeavours. This is really feeling like we are diluting what co-op means while leaving the public oblivious and uninformed. I would personally never use any of these mock co-ops. In the same way I would rather donate direct to a charity and not through 3rd parties that take a cut as you have with many street collectors.

        • Hi Rob. You might be interested in reading this Co-op catch-up with Martin Rogers where he talks about how central keeping our Co-op values is to these new ventures. Thanks ^Rachel

          • I will assume you haven’t read the article as it does not clear anything up at all and indeed points to “private entrepreneurs” opening “co-ops”. While the word co-op may just be a word to some. For others it has a real meaning and definition. That is being lost, and that is sad.
            Selling our products to be sold in other retailers stores is fine. Having them masquerade as co-ops is extremely questionable. We are doing this to increase market share and purchasing power while reducing our commitment to co-op values. If this is the will of the membership then that’s all ok.

            • Hi Rob. There’s no reduction to Co-op values in our franchising approach. There is a rigorous set of franchise criteria that the individual owner will need to meet – from Being Co-op to Safe and secure. Brand standards are also part of their requirements. We will be involved in defining these for franchise stores, training on them and regularly auditing compliance.
              The franchise model is inherently co-operative – sharing benefits among members.
              I hope this assurance that the details of making sure franchises continue to trade in the right way co-operatively helps alleviate your fears – along with the points in Martin’s article about how this model already successfully works in other European Co-ops.

  4. The press release states that ‘The deal will also provide the opportunity for CSG’s independent retailers to become Co-op franchisees’. If these ‘Co-op’ stores are not associated with Group or any of the independent societies, how will we be making sure that Co-op values and principles, and standards, are maintained?

  5. Another fantastic piece of work by our Co-op. Well done to all involved.

  6. Brilliant news Co-op, more coverage in more outlets has to be good for business!

    Onwards and upwards!


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