2001 – present day

Key events in The Co-operative's history between 2000 and the present day

1844 to 1900 | 1901 to 1950 | 1951 to 2000


The Co-operative becomes the first retailer to introduce Braille onto its own-brand range of medicines. We are also the first retailer to include Braille labels on some own-brand alcoholic drinks. The move coincided with the launch of our premium whisky and vodka in time for Christmas 2001.


The Co-operative switches all own-brand coffee to Fairtrade, which means an extra £1m each year is returned to coffee farmers in the developing world.

Faitrade coffee


The Co-operative Insurance Society head office in Manchester (the CIS Tower) became Europe’s largest vertical solar project, with all three sides of its 25 stories clad in energy-generating solar panels.The Solar Tower provides enough electricity to power 1,000 PCs for a year.


The Co-operative officially became the UK’s most trusted retailer. New research from the international institute AccountAbility and the National Consumer Council shows that The Co‑operative is the most trusted brand in the eyes of consumers, in front of tough competition from the likes of Marks & Spencer, The Body Shop, John Lewis and Tesco.

United Co-op


Merger successfully completed between The Co‑operative Group and United Co-operatives. The original Co-op 'clover leaf' logo adopted by United is now obsolete, superseded by The Co-operative logo throughout the family of businesses.

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The Co-operative Group acquires Somerfield, adding over 800 outlets to the Food store portfolio. Combined with Somerfield the business now operates more than 3,000 grocery stores as the fifth largest food retailer in the UK with a market share of approximately 8%.

Britannia LogoBritannia becomes part of The Co-operative Bank and therefore a CFS business.  This merger brings together Britannia's extensive high street presence and savings and mortgage product strength, with the personal and corporate banking, insurance and fund management expertise of The Co-operative Bank, Insurance and Investments.


In 2013 The Co-operative Group raised £1.5 billion to recapitalise The Co-operative Bank. This secured the Banks future whilst embedding Co-operative values and ethics into its constitution.

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On Saturday 17 May The Co-operative Group announced it was going back to its original co-operative roots with the introduction of its new purpose ‘Championing a better way of doing business for you and your communities’. Championing is part of our heritage and will continue to be - taking a stand, making a noise on a number of social issues which are relevant to our businesses and our members lives. 

On 30 August 2014 members of The Co-operative Group voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution on the adoption of a new Rulebook to radically reform the Group’s governance structure. At the Group’s Special General Meeting in Manchester, 83% of votes were cast in favour of a Resolution, proposed by the Board and backed by the Executive team, which contained adoption of the new Rulebook for the Group.  These changes were also later approved by the FCA

In the second half of 2014 The Co-operative Group agreed to sell its Farming, Pharmacy and Sunwin Services’ businesses to reduce debt, invest for the future and focus on its new purpose and strategy.  The sales were successful in achieving good values for The Group, whilst ensuring the businesses went to good buyers, keen to invest in them for the future. 

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This is our history – be part of our future and join us today.

1844 to 1900 | 1901 to 1950 | 1951 to 2000