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Co-op scandals put top customers off shopping there, ICM poll reveals

The Co-op’s most frequent food shoppers are now less likely to shop there, as a result of the recent scandals that have engulfed the group.

According to Retail Week, an exclusive poll for Retail Week by ICM Research revealed that one in five people who shop at The Co-op Food stores at least once a week were less likely to shop there as a result. This rises to one in four people who shop there more than once a week.

ICM research director Amanda Clack said: “We were shocked to see there has been this impact for the regular Co-operative customers. The recent controversies have clearly had a far reaching ripple effect throughout the business and the brand needs to do a lot to reinstall trust again.”

The findings come ahead of a crucial AGM vote this weekend, on reform proposals put forward by Lord Myners. It emerged this week that the largest independent Co-op society, the Midcounties, which has previously been vocal about its reform concerns, plans to back the resolution.

Clack said The Co-op’s negative perception is a big threat to a business based on trust, fair trade and ethics. And for regular food shoppers, who have bought into the brand as a whole, it is not isolated to just the banking arm. “I wouldn’t expect people to suddenly reject shopping there completely but it does mean that for people having bought into the company’s brand identity and principles it is having an impact,” Clack added.

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