working together for the benefit of our communities
Our business continues to operate in a fiercely competitive environment, particularly in food, where the industry has seen significant disruption that looks set to continue.
Despite the changeable market and difficult economic conditions, we have laid important foundations since 2014 to help prepare us for the future. Not least, we have added over 65 food stores to our estate, successfully established ourselves in the crematoria market and invested heavily in systems and how we work.
Nevertheless, we have to remember that what has worked for us in the past may not be right for the future. That’s why, in response to the changing market and other uncertainties that we face, we’ve evolved our overarching business objectives. These will ensure we maximise the performance of all our existing businesses over the next five years and that we remain relevant and competitive and seize the opportunities to transform our customers’ experience, enabling sustainable business growth and profitability.
However, we certainly won’t lose sight of what we stand for as a co-operative and our core purpose – to work together for the benefit of our communities. Underpinning this is our commitment to championing a responsible way of doing business, one that has a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment and plays its part in creating a fairer society and sustainable future. This requires action locally and globally and our plan outlines how we’re going to do this, including how we are getting involved with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Of course, the commitment of our colleagues remains crucial in helping us to achieve our objectives and I want to thank all colleagues in advance, for everything they’ll do to bring this plan to life. If you’re a member, customer, partner or supplier, I hope you’ll share the view that the values and beliefs of our co-operative business are a force for good, and that you will continue to support and engage with us as we seek to deliver our goals in the lead up to our 150th birthday in 2023!
Natural Burial Ground
As a co-operative, we believe in a different way of doing business because we’re owned by our members, not big investors.
working together for the benefit of our communities
our co-operative values
To be our communities’ choice because of
What’s the heart and soul of our brand?
How we encourage colleagues to help meet our goals and promote our brand
We champion a different way of doing business because we have a purpose beyond profit.
Ensuring we act sustainably and responsibly as an employer, business, neighbour and partner threads through everything we do.
We’re a responsible and sustainable business - we aim to be the best we can be in all areas, having a positive effect that benefits society, the economy and the environment.
We want to have a positive impact on the lives of our colleagues, members, suppliers and communities both now and in the future.
We believe in being Fair to everyone we work with both internally and externally.
Having a fresh approach, putting purpose before profit.
Making it easy for all to join us and share in our success.
We are a responsible, local business, but it’s important that we play our part in supporting the global sustainability agenda. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on, and address, the world’s biggest challenges and are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
The UN is calling on businesses to more actively engage with these goals so we have aligned Our Plan to support the delivery of these goals by 2030. As well as making our own sustainability commitments, we will collaborate with existing partners, such as Business in the Community to champion responsible business and promote this agenda regionally.
With the ever-changing needs of our customers and widespread market changes and disruption, how and what we deliver to our customers has never been more important. We want to transform the end-to-end experience our customers have with us, whether that’s instore, online or face to face.
Our digital transformation programme will help us to better understand, engage and grow our customer base giving us the data and insight to transform our customer experience in an increasingly digitised world.
As we understand better our customers’ needs and requirements, we’ll identify opportunities for new ranges and services in our existing businesses. We’ll also remain alert to opportunities that could support growth into new areas that complement our existing businesses.
We’ll continue to grow and develop our franchise business through Welcome and our Co-operative Food franchise to bring our business and brand to more communities across the south.
We’ll continue to develop our progressive retail store formats to improve customer experience alongside plans to launch a new funeral home concept.
We’ll continue to invest in new stores where the location is right for our customer offer, recognising the highly competitive environment we operate in and fewer market opportunities for new sites.
We’ll open new funeral homes to give more local communities the opportunity to access our funeral services conveniently.
We’ll develop our existing successful crematoria and look for opportunities to support our expansion within this important market, including searching for new crematorium sites.
We’ll look at how we create opportunities to involve our members as owners of our Society, improving communications and member engagement beyond the formal governance processes of a co-operative.
In a highly competitive and innovative environment, we must evolve at pace to stay relevant and competitive. We want to be fit for the future and make improvements and investments that build a sustainable, resilient business.
Right Store will enter the next phase focusing on simplifying tasks, reducing waste and improving on shelf availability giving colleagues more time to spend with our customers.
Given the increasing threats of violence and crime across the retail sector, we’re investing in a number of steps to deliver a safer, more secure environment for our colleagues, customers and communities.
We’ll invest in good quality commercial properties which will provide additional rental income. We’ll also add value to existing property making sure we maximise return from any underused assets.
By 2020, we’ll have fully embedded our annual performance cycle linking pay more closely to personal performance. We will look at job roles to ensure we are able to provide meaningful employment that is appropriately rewarded.
We’ll embed our Applicant Tracking System and centralised recruitment model across our organisation. We’ll use insight from the system and colleague surveys to continually improve the candidate experience and provide an appropriate employment proposition at every level.
We’re committed to investing in colleague development and growing our own talent, establishing a range of programmes, apprenticeships and professional qualifications.
We’ll continue to invest in and improve our IT platforms and systems to enable us to respond to the changing needs of our customers and markets. We’ll work collaboratively with the Co-op Buying Group we are a part of, to ensure our systems are relevant, efficient and allow us to realise the full benefits of membership.
We’ll develop our trading relationships with Federal Retail Trading Services (FRTS) and other independent societies, sharing best practice and promoting the benefits of working co-operatively.
We champion responsible business - it runs through our core and is reflected in every decision we make whether that’s in relation to colleagues, members, suppliers, partners or communities. By acting responsibly and standing up for what we believe in, we can encourage others to do the same and support communities and environments to give society and our planet, a chance to sustain itself and thrive locally, nationally and globally.
We’ll continue to champion and support local food and drink producers through partnerships with suppliers and organisations such as Hampshire Fare and develop support initiatives to help grow and develop our local supply base across our region.
We will work with our suppliers to continually raise ethical and environmental standards and to ensure people are treated fairly.
We’ll develop a culture where colleague wellbeing threads through everything we do. We’ll provide support and education encouraging colleagues to live healthier lives and achieve their full potential personally and professionally.
We’ve committed to supporting career progression, actively promoting roles both internally and externally to attract a diverse population to our organisation.
We’ll reduce absolute CO2 emissions by 20% by 2022 (against 2017 baseline) with an initial focus on refreshing our energy sourcing and management strategy.
We’ll continue to reduce the amount of waste we produce with an initial focus on improving store waste management processes.
We’ll continue to develop and maintain sustainable management plans for our crematoria and natural burial ground, monitoring the benefits to wildlife and habitats and how we can enhance these.
We’ll take action to use resources wisely and inspire colleagues, customers and partners to live more sustainably.
We’ll benefit the lives and communities of 1 million local people by 2020 through our Love Your Neighbourhood programme.
We’ll review and evolve our processes to make it easier and simpler for our colleagues to access community resources, including funding. We’ll embed Love Your Neighbourhood into our training programmes and work to create a blueprint for effective community delivery.
We’ll work with our communities to address the issues we believe are at the root cause of business crime.