Consolidation is what has been happening. It hasn't prevented decline.planteria wrote:...
what about CoOp consolidation? i'd have thought the right thing to do would be to fold all regionals into the former CWS, but it seems, a bit like building societies, their are far too many vested interests to allow that efficiency. yet, The CoOp Group, made up of All CoOp outlets, and Nationwide, made up of all building societies, would offer powerful mutual alternatives to Tesco, HSBC etc.
Once upon a time, back in the 1950s, the Co-Op movement was no 1 grocer. I think they had 30%+ market share. They also had department stores, car dealerships, a life insurance company, farms, a pharmacy chain, a bank, all of which are gone now. Oh and a building society. The managers of the Co-Op Building Society got pissed off, abandoned their ties with the movement, and changed their name to Nationwide.
Some of us can still just about remember the time when the Co-Op pioneered hypermarkets in the UK. I think they sold them to Morrisons. They've shrunk from being a major grocer to being a convenience store chain. Which is not necessarily a bad place to be, as convenience stores are supposed to be the thing these days.
Mutuality might be nice, and I'm all in favour of it. I'm 'with' the Nationwide and LV. But good old fashioned market capitalism can burn down a lazy mutual. Co-op Food is never again going to challenge the likes of Tesco and Aldi no matter how many of the much smaller regionals it swallows up.