The Co-operative Group appoints Gill Barr to top marketing role

January 19, 2011

The Co-operative Group – the consumer-owned retailer and financial services business – has announced the appointment of Gill Barr as Group Marketing Director.  Barr takes on the role vacated by Patrick Allen, who left in July last year.  She will join the Co-operative Group at the end of January.Gill Barr

Barr was previously at MasterCard where she recently completed an interim assignment as Head of Marketing UK and Ireland.  Prior to MasterCard, Barr held senior posts at John Lewis, Woolworths, Superdrug, KPMG, Athena and Wickes.

Announcing the appointment, Co-operative Group Chief Executive, Peter Marks, said:  “Over the past few years, we have seen a complete rejuvenation of the Co-operative brand, which has resulted in a doubling of sales, profits and membership.  The business now has a significant opportunity to show customers the benefits to them of shopping at all Co-operative businesses.

“I am sure that with her tremendous breadth of experience, Gill Barr will make a significant contribution to the Co-operative Group’s development over the next few years and I am delighted she is joining us at this exciting time for the business.”

Commenting on her appointment, Gill Barr said: “The Co-operative’s recent rejuvenation has established great foundations for the future and I’m looking forward to using my retail and financial services experience to help drive the Group forward. 

“The Co-operative has an unrivalled reputation as an ethical business and is excellently placed to respond to consumers’ desire to trade with enterprises which share their values and principles.” 

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group stands apart from other major retailers in the UK as a business which is owned, not by a small group of shareholders, but by more than five million consumers. With core interests in food, financial services, travel, pharmacy, funerals and farms, it has an annual turnover of £14 billion, employs 120,000 staff and operates over 5,000 retail trading outlets serving more than 20 million customers per week.

Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The Co-operative Food is the fifth largest food retailer. The Co-operative Financial Services is one of the largest and most diversified financial mutual businesses, operating The Co-operative Bank, The Co-operative Insurance and Britannia. The Co-operative is the UK’s number one provider of funeral services, the third largest retail pharmacy chain, a leading travel retailer, supplying the travel needs of more than three million people annually, and is the UK’s largest farmer.

Among its other businesses are The Co-operative Motor Group, The Co-operative Electrical and The Co-operative Legal Services.


For further information contact:

Phil Edwards
Head of PR – Trading
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 01618275289                                                                                                                                                                               e-mail: