By Karl Hardie, Fit for Future Workstream Lead 

I joined Co-op just over four years ago. I’ve had the privilege of working in various roles – from working in a food store, as a Store Manager to now working in the Retail Support Centre, as a Fit for Future Workstream Lead. 

It makes me proud that at Co-op, we’ve always strived to represent a different way of being, and today our colleagues, customers and communities need our kind of change more than ever. So, this year, we introduced our  Store Purpose, which connects what our store colleagues do every day to our vision of co-operating for a fairer world.  

Our Store Purpose helps us focus on how we serving our customers’ needs in a convenient, ethical, sustainable, and commercially successful way. It allows us to connect and activate local communities to enable them to co-operate for a fairer world. And we’ll do it all in a way that provides meaningful work for our colleagues and allows them to earn a good living.  

Throughout quarter two, our focus in stores is all around Retail Excellence. What do we mean by that? It all starts with being clear about what we do and how we do it – it’s the everyday small things that we do that add to something extraordinary and make the most significant difference.  

We have an opportunity to deliver Retail Excellence through our operating model, which unifies us and puts our store purpose firmly at the core of our ways of working. Where we can all feel our contribution, whether you’re a Customer Team Member working in a store 12 hours a week or like me working in the Support Centre, we all have a part to play. We can understand what the world looks like today and how we can make it better for tomorrow through our operating model. 

There’s lots of change and moving to a purpose-driven way of working takes time, and in quarter two, we’re doing some things that will enable us to get closer to our colleagues, customers, and communities. Below are just some of the great things store colleagues will experience: 

  • Simpler Bakery: we’re continuing to roll out a modern fixture for our In-Store Bakery, alongside a simplified production process. The new fixture adds a wow factor – better product presentation and keeps our products hygienic and fresher for longer
  • Store deliveries: based on our stores’ various characteristics and trading patterns, we’re improving our product delivery service to ensure we serve our customers’ needs. It includes the rollout of ‘Out of Hours’ deliveries to give colleagues certainty around delivery times and allow them to stock shelves before opening hours
  • News & Mags app: We’ve co-designed the app with colleagues to simplify the way we manage deliveries and returns more efficiently. It’ll also improve leakage and increase availability. No more paperwork, no more phone calls or logging into the suppliers’ app. It’ll save you time, and you can do everything in one place
  • Customer checkout: our customers tell us they spend too much time queuing at checkout, and our colleagues tell us that the payment process is too slow and has too many screens. So, we’re looking to reduce the number of screen colleagues see during the payment process
  • It’s what we do packs: we’ve developed these packs to help colleagues understand how what they do contributes to our store purpose and our vision. They clarify all the great things our colleagues do every day – ensuring our stores are safe, legal, and operational, providing a friendly and thoughtful service
  • Our Results: we’re accelerating our trials to support stores with a team-based approach to performance. We’re moving away from a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) culture to one where teams will have standstill moments, have meaningful conversations, set their joint team ambitions and commitments

I’m so proud of all the great work we’re delivering. Store colleagues and Support Centre colleagues working together to move to a more purpose-driven way of working and although we’ve a long journey ahead; we’re making significant progress on our purpose-driven operating model. We’ll continue to listen to our colleagues and address the right areas that enable us to be fit for the future. 

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Great update Karl, exciting to see what comes next

  2. I’d like to know what store colleagues feel about these changes. Are they given sufficient hours to achieve what is being asked of them.

    • Store colleagues are telling us great things about these changes so far and we have insight plans for each of these projects to ensure we’re listening to colleagues throughout. Some of this change is still being developed so the final products are having heavy colleague involvement. Now we’ve established the purpose of our stores, we’re really clear that the support we provide must be relevant and something that makes the colleague, customer and community experience better.

      In terms of hours all of the change mentioned in the article then yes colleagues will be provided sufficient time for what is expected. In the next release we’ll talk more about how we’re looking at resources, specifically hours and what we’ve been doing in that space from what our colleagues have told us.

      Hope that helps 🙂

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