Have Your Say results to shape Co-operative Group rebuild

December 01, 2014

Half your say bannerThe Co-operative Group should put local communities at the heart of its future, according to the findings of a major survey released today (1 December 2014). The Have Your Say survey, carried out by YouGov, reflects the views and opinions of more than 180,000 people.

The Co-operative Group has committed to put those views at the centre of its strategy and purpose, and use the Have Your Say findings to inform the three-year rebuild of the Society.

The Have Your Say results can be found in full at www.haveyoursay.coop and include the following key findings*:

  • 82% of respondents agree that The Co-operative should champion local issues that affect people in their local communities
  • 86% of respondents feel favourable towards The Co-operative, while 71% of people believe it is a business that tries to do the right thing
  • Co-operative Food shoppers have put lower prices (53%) and locally sourced products (46%) as the most likely incentives to shop more with the business
  • 32% of respondents believe The Co-operative offers higher quality products and services than its competitors, while 26% believe the business innovates positively and embraces new technology
  • 60% of respondents believe the dividend is an important part of being a member of The Co-operative, while 58% believe the principle of paying a dividend is more important than the size of the payment
  • Many people do not believe that membership of The Co-operative is different from other loyalty schemes, with only 55% agreeing that membership card holders have more of a say in how the business is run than the average loyalty card holder

In a further set of findings related to the relationship between businesses and politics, 63% of respondents said they were not aware that The Co-operative Group is a financial supporter of The Co-operative Party, but 74% said they believed it was inappropriate for big businesses to donate to political parties. The Co-operative Group Board has already decided to put continued financial support of political parties to a vote of its members at its Annual General Meeting next year, as part of its wider on-going review of spending and support for political causes and social goals.  The AGM will take place under the new governance structure, including the One Member One Vote system.

Richard Pennycook, Group Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

“The response to Have Your Say was overwhelming and the findings give us a great deal of encouragement and demonstrate the resilience of the Co-operative brand. It is clear that the organisation has a special place in the hearts of the British public, who want it to thrive. They support our determination to provide a real alternative to big business, championing local issues in local communities. We are very grateful for this support.

“The Co-operative has come through a difficult period and we are now rebuilding the organisation, focused on delivering on our commitment to champion a better way of doing business for our customers and their communities with real change on the ground. The findings of Have Your Say give us a wealth of information and insight that will inform us in that work.”

Peter Kellner, President of YouGov comments:

“The strength of the response to Have Your Say demonstrates the scale of the opportunity for The Co-operative Group. Clearly 2013 was an extremely challenging year but despite all of the difficulties, the public still believe in the brand. There is widespread support for the Group to reconnect with local communities – if it gets that right, it can rebuild its reputation for social responsibility and business competence.”

For further information please contact:

Russ Brady / Catherine Turner
russ.brady@co-operative.coop / catherine.turner@co-operative.coop
07880 784442 / 07834 090783

Susanna Voyle / Jonathan Sibun
Tulchan Communications
020 7353 4200

Notes to Editors

In February 2014, The Co-operative Group commissioned YouGov to undertake a major piece of research and engagement – asking the public, including members, customers and colleagues, to help shape the future of the Group and to have their say.

 The survey officially opened on Monday 17 February and closed on Monday 24 March 2014.
 There was an unprecedented response with a total of 180,003 people completing the survey:

  • 143,000 completed the survey online via an open link on www.haveyoursay.coop and 1,833 completed a paper copy – a total of 144,833
  • YouGov also conducted its largest ever poll of the general public via its own panel of 35,170 people. This was a nationally representative sample and provided further context to the open link findings

*key findings relate to responses from the ‘Have your Say Total’ based on the 144,833 who completed the survey online via www.haveyoursay.coop or via a paper copy.  

The full data tables and responses to all the questions can be viewed at www.haveyoursay.coop. The questions and responses relating to the key findings in this release are below

How favourable would you say you are, in general, towards The Co-operative?

Extremely favourable  23%
Favourable  63%
Unfavourable  8%
Extremely unfavourable  3%
Don’t know  3%
Net: Favourable  86%
Net: Unfavourable  11%

 

For each of the following statements please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree that it describes The Co-operative.  - It offers higher quality products and services than its competitors

Strongly agree 7%
Somewhat agree  26%
Neither agree nor disagree 40%
Somewhat disagree  18%
Strongly disagree  7%
Don't know  2%
Net: Agree  32%
Net: Disagree  25%

 

For each of the following statements please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree that it describes The Co-operative.  - It’s a business that tries to do the right thing

Strongly agree  27%
Somewhat agree 
44%
Neither agree nor disagree  15%
Somewhat disagree  5%
Strongly disagree  4%

Don't know 
4%
Net: Agree 
71%
Net: Disagree  9%

 

For each of the following statements please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree that it describes The Co-operative.  - It innovates positively and embraces new technology

Strongly agree  5%
Somewhat agree  21%
Neither agree nor disagree  38%
Somewhat disagree  13%
Strongly disagree  6%
Don't know  17%
Net: Agree  26%
Net: Disagree  19%

 

Thinking about the way The Co-operative is run, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. - The Co-operative membership card holders have more of a say in how the business is run than the average loyalty card holder

Strongly agree  16%
Somewhat agree  39%
Neither agree nor disagree  23%
Somewhat disagree  8%
Strongly disagree  4%
Don't know  11%
Net: Agree  55%
Net: Disagree  12%

 

Which three of these, if any, would be most likely to make you shop with The Co-operative Food more often?

Lower prices to give better value for money  53%
More conveniently located stores  16%
Improved in-store experience and customer service  27%
An online shopping option with convenient collection and delivery  15%
More locally sourced products and support for local suppliers  46%
Ensuring the highest ethical and moral standards in relationships with customers, suppliers and employees  37%
Using its profits to fund projects that benefit people in my local area  -
Standing out from the big national chains by making a meaningful contribution in my community  -
A better range of products in my local Co-operative store  42%
Standing out from the big national chains by using its profits to support community projects that benefit people in my local area  30%
Other  8%
Don’t know  2%

 

Each year, The Co-operative returns some of its profits to its members depending on the value of goods and services they have bought from the business that year. Last year, members received an average annual dividend payment of £7 each. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? - The dividend payment is an important part of being a member of The Co-operative

Strongly agree  22%
Somewhat agree  37%
Neither agree nor disagree  23%
Somewhat disagree  9%
Strongly disagree  5%
Don't know  2%
Net: Agree  60%
Net: Disagree  15%

 

Each year, The Co-operative returns some of its profits to its members depending on the value of goods and services they have bought from the business that year. Last year, members received an average annual dividend payment of £7 each. To what extent do you agree with the following statements? - The principle of paying dividends to members is more important than the size of the payment

Strongly agree  19%
Somewhat agree  39%
Neither agree nor disagree  23%
Somewhat disagree  11%
Strongly disagree  6%
Don't know  2%
Net: Agree  58%
Net: Disagree  17%

 

To what extent do you think it is appropriate or inappropriate for big businesses to donate money to political parties?

Very appropriate  2%
Quite appropriate  6%
No strong feelings either way  14%
Quite inappropriate  23%
Very inappropriate  51%
Don’t know  3%
Net: Appropriate  9%
Net: Inappropriate  74%

 

The Co-operative is a financial supporter of the Co-operative Party, which fields candidates in UK national, devolved and local elections in partnership with the Labour Party. Were you aware of this before today?

Yes  35%
No  63%
Don’t know  2%

 

Thinking about The Co-operative and how it might champion issues that are important to you, please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. - The Co-operative should champion local issues that affect people in their communities

Strongly agree  43%
Somewhat agree 
40%
Neither agree nor disagree 
12%
Somewhat disagree  2%
Strongly disagree  2%
Don’t know  2%
Net: Agree  82%
Net: Disagree  4%