The member-owned group follows rival supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s, which have rolled out exclusive deals for members of its loyalty schemes, as the weekly shop becomes an increasingly two-tiered system.
Last week, consumer group Which? warned supermarket loyalty offers were “not all they’re cracked up to be”, as it urged the competition watchdog to investigate supermarket dual pricing.
Chair Allan Leighton said: “We have confidence in our ability to manage the headwinds that we continue to face and, more importantly, we’re in a position to be able to begin to grow, as a successful and sustainable Co-op that is fit for today’s modern world, yet remains true to its heritage and values.”
It comes as losses for the first half tumbled from £68 million to £9 million, while net debt plunged by £600 million to the “historically low level” of £123 million, helped by the sale of petrol station forecourts to Asda.
Revenue ticked down to £5.4 million, but when the forecourts are excluded, it was up by 4%. Of the revenue total, £3.6 million came from food, with funeralcare the next-largest arm of the business bringing in £146 million.
CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq said the business would also work more with other co-operatives to “explore opportunities for greater collaboration”. The country’s largest worker co-op, the John lewis Partnership, has struggled financially of late, prompting rumours that management would consider ending its fully worker-owned model.