TMCNet:  Co-op shelves plans for online grocery service

[August 08, 2014]

Co-op shelves plans for online grocery service

(City A.M. (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE CO-OPERATIVE Group has shelved plans to join its rivals and launch an online grocery service just months after unveiling a plan to turn around its embattled food business.

The mutual began trialling clickand-collect service - where customers can pick up groceries ordered online - at a store in Stockport in November, but has now brought the trial to an end.

A spokesperson said yesterday that "it has not ruled out" launching an online grocery service, however, it had decided to focus its efforts on revamping its stores instead.

"Our core focus remains becoming the number one in convenience retailing in the UK," the Co-op said in a statement.

In April, the group announced plans to double the number of convenience stores to around 4,000 in the next five years as it fights back against other major rivals piling into the convenience sector.

Co-op's chief executive of retail Steve Murrell's described online sales at the time as "a conundrum", be-cause of the risk of the service cannibalising sales in sales in stores.

"Unfortunately, if you are not prepared to eat your own children, someone else will," he said.

(c) 2014 City A.M.

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