21-July-2015

Co-op recruiting an extra 1,000 staff as the company fights back in cut-throat market

Graham Hiscott, Mirror Online

 

The recruitment drive is in addition to thousands of jobs being created in another 200 Co-operative Food stores due to open over the next two years

 

Co-operative shopThe Co-operative has begun hiring an extra 1,000 workers for its convenience stores.

 

The mutual says it’s boosting staff numbers at busy times of the day.

 

The recruitment drive is in addition to thousands of jobs being created in another 200 Co-Operative Food stores due to open over the next two years.

 

The roll-out is part of what the company hopes is a fight back following a battering in the cut-throat grocery market.

 

The mutual has been hit by big supermarkets such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s opening their own wave of convenience stores and the growth of discount chains Aldi and Lidl.

 

The Co-Op
Jobs boost: The Co-op is taking on an extra 1,000 staff as profits rise

 

Recent research by industry experts Kantar Worldpanel showed that the Co-op’s sales were flat in the 12 weeks to June 21 – but ahead of the market for the first time in nearly four years.

 

The Co-op, which is ploughing £125million in price cuts, held its market share steady at 6.2%.

 

Food now accounts for the biggest chunk of the wider Co-operative Group, which also includes funeralcare and general insurance.

As well as opening more convenience stores, it has closed 28 of its larger stores in the past 12 months.

 

The mutual hopes to cash in on a trend to more top-up shopping.

 

Steve Murrells, chief executive of Co-operative Retail, said: “We are making significant strides towards our ambition of becoming the UK’s leading convenience retailer.

 

“The modern busy lifestyle is leading to more consumers adopting a grazing mentality, which sees them shop in a little-and-often way each week.

 

"These ‘grazers’ are leading a major shift in shopping habits which marks a return to the way people used to shop.”

 

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