Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Retail Week Awards and I’m thrilled to report that we scooped not one, but two biggies.

First off, we were awarded the JDA Software Customer Innovation Award for the advances we’re making in technology.

The judges loved how we’re trialling the use of Starship Technologies’ robots to deliver shopping to customers in Milton Keynes, as well as our ambition to make our in-store experience even easier with our pay in aisle pilot.

Innovation doesn’t just mean technology though. The award also recognised how we’ve managed to reduce crime by 90% in suburban and rural locations with the use of SmartWater technology.

The judges said: “The Co-op is reimagining convenience for the modern world…it is innovating in local convenience retailing, and is using technology to make it better”.

We also took away the Hermes Global Impact Award. Our commitment to tackling Modern Slavery and our Bright Future initiative wowed the judges and we were also praised for our ethical stance on Fairtrade and food sustainability.

Retail Week said: “The Co-op’s credentials on ethical concerns, contributing to local communities and making an impact internationally do not just exceed those of many modern businesses – they pre-date them.”

Store Manager of our Cambridge shop, Steve Smith, also received a mark of excellence for the Newton Europe Store Manager Award – go Steve!

And it was a big week for our Funeral and Life Planning colleagues too. On Wednesday they took home the Best Use of Research at the PR Moment Awards for their Biggest Ever Survey into Death.

It’s a proud week for Co-op.

Chris Whitfield
Chief Operating Officer, Retail