Following the launch of the Co-op membership scheme in September 2016, members have received a 5 per cent reward every time they purchase own brand products and services with a further one per cent going to good causes within their community.
In the past 14 months the Co-op’s 4.6m members have amassed a total of more than £70m and, although any money earned is available to spend at their next shop, just under half is still unspent.
Nearly 85 per cent of Co-op members have up to £10 to spend in the run up to Christmas, while almost nine per cent have amassed as much as £20 and a shrewd 6.5 per cent have saved more than £20 which many are expected to cash in over the festive season.
However, it is not only Co-op members who are in line for a Christmas boost, as this week 4,000 local causes across the UK are set to receive an average payment of £2,750.
The one per cent rewards earmarked for local good causes go into a fund that also includes the proceeds from carrier bag sales in England and Scotland. Since the scheme began in September 2016 a total of 8,000 local good causes have shared £20m.
Steve Murrells, Co-op Group CEO, said:
“Our membership scheme enables us to reward individual members and support good causes within their communities. We appreciate that many members have saved their rewards throughout the year to help with the cost of Christmas and we look forward to welcoming them into our stores in the run up to the festivities.
“Our unique membership proposition also means that by shopping at the Co-op members are helping local charities, many of which operate on a shoestring. Therefore, the money these good causes will receive in the next few days will be vital.
“As a responsible business our members also influence the way we aim to make a real difference by campaigning on a range of issues in the UK and across the world.”
Earlier this year Co-op became the first national retailer to only sell 100% British fresh own brand meat and the Co-op only uses British meat in all its own-label chilled ready meals, pies and sandwiches.
The Co-op is the only supermarket with an own brand charity water. In January 2017 it extended its commitment and for every litre sold of any still, sparkling or flavoured Co-op water, 3p is donated to The One Foundation to be invested in clean water, sanitation and hygiene projects in Africa. This year £1.3million will be raised through Co-op own brand water sales alone. In addition it has signed up as pioneer partners for the Global Investment Fund For Water, meaning 1p per litre will be donated to the fund from all branded bottles sold in Co-op Food stores.
In March this year, Co-op Funeralcare increased the age it will provide free funerals for children (from 16 to up to 18), as over 5,000 families are impacted by the devastating loss of a child each year.
In the past six years, Co-op Insurance has enabled motorists under 25 to save almost £12m in premiums through its innovative Young Drivers scheme.
At the AGM earlier this year, members voted for the Co-op to support initiatives that would enable victims of modern slavery find meaningful employment and colleagues have raised £6.5m to help tackle loneliness and isolation in conjunction with British Red Cross. The Co-op is also the largest corporate supporter of academy schools in the UK.