The Co-op Thread

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WillPS
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Mon 13 Feb, 2017 14.44

How the table's have turned - just a few years ago TSB was being lined up for sale to the Co-op in Project Verde, now looks like the opposite may well happen.
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Three Lefts Do
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Mon 17 Apr, 2017 19.22

Within the last 48 hours, a notice has appeared on my nearest Co-op (Station Road, Henbury, Bristol BS10) regarding its imminent revamp.

The woman at the till today told me (because I asked!) that it will close for the refit on 3rd May. The trend seems to be avoiding stating a specific re-open date in advance, thus avoiding broken promises due to any unforseen problems/delays arising during the refits.

The shop has had the awful "halfway house" compromise look for at least a few months now (i.e. temporary white/non-illuminated version of the cloverleaf hanging sign replacing the previous green square/rectangular sign, and a cloverleaf transfer slapped onto one end of the main facia signage). Presumably, all shops directly owned by the "main" Co-op Group were given this same interim change, soon after the rebooted cloverleaf look was first publicly announced? All the "directly-owned" branches that I've seen certainly have been.

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A few weeks back, the Co-op in nearby Westbury-on-Trym village centre got its full revamp. It was closed for 10 days in total. Work seemed to be going on pretty much around-the-clock during that period.

There are two Co-ops within Henbury. My local one is very much the smaller of the two, is on a much less "main" road than the other one, and is not very centrally located (here is very much the northern end of Henbury - close to where the City & County of Bristol boundary meets with the South Gloucestershire District boundary), so is not very handy for folk from the Blaise Castle Estate end of Henbury.

I therefore anticipate that whenever the centrally-located shop on Crow Lane gets its full refit, it will have the luxury of being named after the whole area (i.e. "Welcome to Henbury's Co-op"). I anticipate that my local Co-op will therefore be relegated to being named after the exact street that it's on instead, as that seems to generally be the secondary option used.

Most/all other Co-ops near here (such as the Henleaze Road one, and the Lawrence Weston one) already have the full new look. Crow Lane must be the very last one for quite a radius round these parts to get the full refit. It currently sports the ugly "halfway house" look.
Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
Three Lefts Do
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Mon 17 Apr, 2017 20.57

Pear wrote:
Mon 01 Aug, 2016 22.15
Interestingly it seems that regional societies who use the generic Co-operative branding, such as The Southern Co-operative, haven't updated to the new look, and they are still opening new stores with the old logo[/url]
Two of the various former "My Local" stores in Bristol (one on Whiteladies Road in Clifton, and one on the "Pigsty Hill" section of Gloucester Road in Bishopston) were bought by The Southern Co-operative at the time of My Local's collapse. They were quickly rebranded with "The co-operative food" style, even though it was after the rebooted cloverleaf look had already been publicly unveiled. To the best of my knowledge, all other former "My Local" stores in Bristol became vacant shop spaces in the immediate term (and some/all of them are still unoccupied now).

The Whiteladies Road shop was given the standard green-background signage, but the Pigsty Hill shop was given the white-background variant of "The co-operative food" look (with the word "food" being written in the gaudy green). Quite why this secondary variant even existed in the first place, and how they ever decided which branches got it as opposed to the main green-background version, is beyond me.

There were already two Co-ops (both owned by the "main" Co-op Group) less than 1km apart along Gloucester Road anyway! A "mid-large convenience store" sized one (which has had the full new cloverleaf look for a fair while now, identified as "Bishopston's Co-Op"), and a "small supermarket" sized one. The latter being a former Somerfield store, and currently still sporting the gaudy green "The co-operative food" look complete with temporary/interim cloverleaf logos slapped on top.

No doubt the former Somerfield one will be called "Horfield's Co-op" when it finally gets the full makeover, as it is just about the other side of the Bishopston/Horfield border methinks.

The former "My Local" one is about halfway between those pre-existing two, so now there's three Co-ops stupidly close together!

Presuming that "Southern"-owned Co-ops will eventually get the full new look too (from 2019 onwards, perhaps?), and that a Co-op identifying itself as being "Bishopston's" one has already been bagsied, it'll be interesting to see how the former My Local one identifies itself. Given that it's on the corner of a side street coming off of the main Gloucester Road thoroughfare (Egerton Road), it could be named after that I suppose. Although that short section of Gloucester Road is nicknamed locally as "Pigsty Hill", I can't envisage TSC being keen on using that phrase in the store identity! It'd also be too contentious for any one of the three stores to name itself after the main Gloucester Road itself, as the other two could argue that they have an equal/better claim to do so.
Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
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WillPS
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Mon 17 Apr, 2017 22.02

I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that societies using the previous unified style will follow to the new look eventually. Midcounties society, who used the old style, have gone in a completely different direction and are using the international Co-op logo.

Central England society are also still fitting out shops out in the 2007 scheme too: https://www.centralengland.coop/store-launches
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Three Lefts Do
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Tue 18 Apr, 2017 17.59

WillPS wrote:
Mon 17 Apr, 2017 22.02
I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that societies using the previous unified style will follow to the new look eventually. Midcounties society, who used the old style, have gone in a completely different direction and are using the international Co-op logo.

Central England society are also still fitting out shops out in the 2007 scheme too: https://www.centralengland.coop/store-launches
Indeed. I always considered the possibility that at least some societies who were on-board with the previous generic look may now take the opportunity to once again diverge from the "main" Co-op Group's look (even if only by sticking with the lime green look, rather than splashing out on anything new).

The fact that staff in Southern society shops now wear the black/grey & turquoise uniforms that go with the new "60s reboot" look, is the basis for my assumption that TSC are on-board with ultimately fully adopting this style. TSC shops also use promo posters etc with the new turquoise cloverleaf logo and accompanying stylings. We'll just have to see what - in anything - happens.

More pics of my local one...
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The Post Office is accessed by walking through the Co-op's front doors then immediately turning right, as part of the separating wall has been knocked-through to allow such access. It clearly must've been a wholly separate shop space originally, but I've only ever known it like this. Quite why the old PO frontage was bricked-up, rather than e.g. simply replacing the door with a window, is beyond me. The PO is a permanently daylight-free zone!

I'm hoping (but not realistically expecting) that they will knock a couple of extra windows through some of the building's bricked-up frontage, allowing more daylight into the shop and PO.
Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
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Pete
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Tue 18 Apr, 2017 21.47

I do find it odd that separate societies use separate branding given that the products within them will be centrally branded by the co-op group. You'd think a more effective form of advertising their localness would work better.

Quite what the form is, I'm unsure. But still.
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WillPS
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Tue 18 Apr, 2017 21.54

Pete wrote:
Tue 18 Apr, 2017 21.47
I do find it odd that separate societies use separate branding given that the products within them will be centrally branded by the co-op group. You'd think a more effective form of advertising their localness would work better.

Quite what the form is, I'm unsure. But still.
I suppose it's no worse than places like Nisa who use totally different branding on their fascias to their own-label stock.
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Pete
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Tue 18 Apr, 2017 22.09

WillPS wrote:
Tue 18 Apr, 2017 21.54
Pete wrote:
Tue 18 Apr, 2017 21.47
I do find it odd that separate societies use separate branding given that the products within them will be centrally branded by the co-op group. You'd think a more effective form of advertising their localness would work better.

Quite what the form is, I'm unsure. But still.
I suppose it's no worse than places like Nisa who use totally different branding on their fascias to their own-label stock.
I suppose the difference - to me - is that Nisa is widely recognised to be local shops buying from a wholesaler whereas the co-op gives the impression of being a more professional corporate outfit. Rightly or wrongly.
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Critique
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Tue 18 Apr, 2017 22.36

Indeed, the decision by societies to go their own way branding-wise (whilst something I like in a geeky way), is quite baffling at times also! Despite entirely different fascias and branding, my local society still uses all the Co-operative group posters in addition to all the product lines featuring their logo. If they minimised the appearance of the logo to being on products it would look far less disjointed and probably acceptable (as none of the products are going to use the blue of the logo, whereas the posters use it everywhere), but seemingly this is either an expense too far or my local society don't think it's worth it.

My local Co-op has also opted out of the new style membership - this meant that after maybe about of a year of customers being able to use their Co-op group cards in East of England Co-op stores (something they didn't do previously), they're now back to not accepting the card at all.
Three Lefts Do
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Wed 19 Apr, 2017 20.39

Critique wrote:
Tue 18 Apr, 2017 22.36
Indeed, the decision by societies to go their own way branding-wise (whilst something I like in a geeky way), is quite baffling at times also! Despite entirely different fascias and branding, my local society still uses all the Co-operative group posters in addition to all the product lines featuring their logo. If they minimised the appearance of the logo to being on products it would look far less disjointed and probably acceptable (as none of the products are going to use the blue of the logo, whereas the posters use it everywhere), but seemingly this is either an expense too far or my local society don't think it's worth it.

My local Co-op has also opted out of the new style membership - this meant that after maybe about of a year of customers being able to use their Co-op group cards in East of England Co-op stores (something they didn't do previously), they're now back to not accepting the card at all.
The sight of Co-op Group style posters etc in stores of societies that don't otherwise subscribe to whatever the current centralised brand happens to be, irritates me greatly. But, as you rightly observe, perhaps not all societies have the means to produce their own equivalent such promotional materials.

Arguably, it is confusing for the average shopper to have situations where they walk into a store that ostensibly looks the same as a Co-op Group owned one, but then might not have their membership card accepted there. And perhaps also not understand the cashier's explanation of why, and what the difference is. Unless all societies that subscribe to the centralised brand also inherently subscribe to the accompanying membership scheme?

I doubt that many non-"anoraks" consciously register any "Part of the Southern Co-Operative" sorts of statements written on local society owned store fronts (or even if they do notice, they don't have a clue what that means/of what relevance it is) - and will therefore be baffled by any variability of membership card acceptance in stores that most folk no doubt take to just be a single big chain like Tesco etc.

If all local societies were to permanently avoid having the same overall logo/look/signage as Co-op Group ones, that source of potential consumer confusion would be avoided. Alternatively, any local societies that do end up adopting the latest centralised look could do something like having a clear and obvious suffix beneath the new cloverleaf logo itself, in a...

CO
OP
Southern

...sort of layout, rather than a too-subtly-placed "Part of the... blah blah blah" type of statement elsewhere on the frontage.
Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
jonathan
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Joined: Mon 06 Jan, 2014 01.43

Thu 20 Apr, 2017 03.22

Three Lefts Do wrote:
Tue 18 Apr, 2017 17.59
I'm hoping (but not realistically expecting) that they will knock a couple of extra windows through some of the building's bricked-up frontage, allowing more daylight into the shop and PO.
I've just had a look at the planning application (17/00378/A) and they are not adding any additional windows. I feel they could have gone further with the exterior changes but I suppose the budget is finite.

I'll let you see for yourself if you guessed the name correctly!

The store looks really messy and uninviting in your pictures. Is it always like that?
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