Lending a hand in-store

On 21 September we launched our new membership, meaning our members now earn 5% back on Co-op products and services as well as 1% back for their community. Colleagues from our 1 Angel Square support centre lent a hand in-store, picking up the slack and keeping the stores running whilst frontline in-store colleagues took the time to explain our new membership to existing and potential members.

Michael helped Cardigan Road’s Co-op in Leeds

Cardigan Road is a really busy store and was in the busiest week of its trading year as the local freshers arrived the week before. Being back in-store reminded me of just how hard it is on the shop floor: breaking down outer cases, working trolleys of product and keeping the shelves stocked.

There’s a lovely team at Cardigan Road, with some very loyal, long-serving Co-op colleagues. It was really good to see our new packaging coming in too.

Nathan went to his local Co-op in Grappenhall

I spent a day with a great team who had really put the extra effort in to support our membership launch. Friday was delivery day and seeing how the team have to manage the store, customers and shift changes whilst not really knowing what time deliveries would arrive, gave me a great appreciation of how hard it is for store teams to balance everything.

I personally managed to sign up six new members in a 30 minute slot, when I wasn’t stacking shelves.

Catherine spent the day in Camley Street’s Co-op

Catherine Brien

Catherine with Umesh and his team

I spent the day stocking shelves, marking down product and serving customers on the tills. I was most struck by how much juggling my in-store colleagues need to do. Camley Street is a small store, so colleagues need to jump between shelves and tills minute by minute.

My high point of the day was signing up five new members. After an 8 hour shift I was exhausted, I have tremendous respect for my colleagues on the frontline day in, day out.

Russell went to Grosvenor Street’s Co-op in Rochdale

I was joined by Adam, a new starter learning the ropes. Adam didn’t know much about the Co-op, but was fascinated by membership and – by the end of his first shift – was a real advocate.

All the colleagues I met seemed genuinely pleased with our new brand, new membership and new products.

Sophy helped Glentworth Road’s Co-op in Morecambe

Store manager Dave had me helping out with stock reports when I arrived and soon I was chasing round the store hunting for products that had run out and for gaps on the shelves.

Dave, Linda and the rest of the team make me feel welcome. Still, the work is complex and I was slow, (I spent 15 minutes searching for a product called a ‘Sour Cup’ with the chilled ready-meals. It turned out to be a pot of mixed sweets.)

Linda visited West Street’s Co-op in Leek

I helped the team take in their deliveries and restock the shelves. The store manager, Christian, was excited to hear about the digital projects that came from our service design workshops with Food and how they could help stores and customers alike.

Ian went back to his home city, Peterborough, to help Werrington’s Co-op

It was great to see store manager Richard and Debbie, the store’s community pioneer, getting involved in events. The team found some extra budget to create a fantastic Halloween display and had begun planning an afternoon tea, with games and prizes, for the local community residents’ group, (which Richard was coming in to support on his day off.)

Richard has also been supporting other stores in the area which don’t currently have full store manager cover, some nearly an hour’s drive away. Richard stepped up without complaint, confident his team would continue to do what‘s right for customers and members in his absence.

Together colleagues from across our Co-op helped to inform existing members about their new membership and also recruited nearly 500,000 new members.