Co-op: SWOT


Scale The Co-op is one of the largest consumer co-operative business in the world and it is a major national player in many sectors
Convenience Strategic focus on convenience retailing gives the Co-op a strong position in one of the fastest growing segments of the UK grocery sector
Brand identity The retailer has one of the longest established UK consumer brands, with extensive heritage. The Co-op's long standing ethically led strategy now provides a clear point of difference in an increasingly values-oriented marketplace


Structure of the UK co-operative movement Although the UK co-operative movement is more closely aligned than ever, the national co-operative movement still accommodates independent societies operating as separate entities, which can present inconsistencies in retail implementation
Value positioning The Co-op lacks the value perception of some of its competitors, although a cycle of in-store promotional activity is currently underway to tackle this issue
Online The Co-op has trialled a Click and Collect solution although this has stopped. The retailer is focusing on bricks before clicks as it looks to focus on its small store estate, however, it has stated an aim to review how it uses digital technology to bring it closer to its customers and members


Consolidation There is the opportunity for consolidation within the UK co-operative movement, which would build greater reach and efficiency for the Co-op
Range development Continued range developments, particularly in fresh, premium and food-to-go, will be vital to respond to heightened competition in these categories
Private label development This will be a key area of focus for the Co-op as it looks to build differentiation and compete with increasingly sophisticated private label offers from competitors. 


Growing competition in the convenience channel Continued small-store development by major multiples threatens to encroach on the Co-op's core areas of strength. Symbol groups and independents are also focused on building competitive credentials, raising the bar in an ever greater number of catchments
Multichannel The rollout of 'click and collect' services by other multiple operators will give their stores an advantage over the Co-op. However the group has rolled out Amazon lockers to a significant proportion of its estate, which provide an alternative to more traditional 'click and collect' services