The Co-op group is turning back to the future to build on its recovery following several years of turmoil, scandal and poor trading performance.
A new, enhanced form of the famous “divi” scheme under which all customer-members receive a proportion of profits through discounts will also be introduced.
In a major facelift costing an estimated £1.3 billion, it is resurrecting the branding images which last dominated the retail and funerals group towards the end of the swinging sixties.
The lime-green frontages of its stores – the result of a national rebranding only a few years ago – are to be torn down and replaced with a blue clover leaf logo designed to signal a return to traditional Co-op values and principles. The facelift will include improvements in products and services and the refurbishment of systems in the insurance side of the business.
Under the new plans, to be phased in from this autumn, members will receive a five per cent reward every time they buy a Co-op own brand product or service which can be cashed in as a discount. The group estimates that by 2018 £100 million a year will be handed back to members or local communities through an additional one per cent earmarked for charities. A Co-op spokesman said: “The new logo will resonate with members that have stuck by the Co-op as well as new, younger members.”
Chief executive Richard Pennycook has volunteered a 60 per cent pay cut in his £3.59 remuneration package, though no other executive has followed his lead.