Co-Op Bosses On Two-Day Visit To Scilly

Co-op bosses are today starting the second day of meetings with islands’ shoppers to receive their feedback and views.

This morning at the Methodist Chapel on St Mary’s you’ll be able to meet a national director and regional managers, sample foods and enter a prize raffle.

The supermarket chain says they have listened to the concerns that locals voiced during their spring meeting. Some residents were unhappy with stock levels and the variety of goods on sale.

The Co-op says they have responded by investing in better ‘back-of-house’ warehousing and refrigeration, so they can cope in times of high demand.

There’s more space for stock and the Co-op can effectively double up on ordering, especially before events like Gig Weekend and forecast bad weather.

Teething problems with a new ordering system earlier this year have also been fixed. The system means items that don’t sell quickly may not be re-ordered and that led to some shelves being emptied of certain goods.

Operations manager Phil Richards says locals who have complained that favourite lines are no longer on sale can ask the store management to stock them.

Phil says many people here say they like home baking and they’ll look to expand that range. Islanders have also asked for a better variety of meats and health foods.

He says floor space is a challenge and the store chooses not to sell goods like newspapers and magazines to devote more space to food.

Some islanders have criticised the choice of non-food items, such as swimwear and games equipment. Now there is enhanced storage at the back of the store, Phil says the former shop floor upstairs could potentially be used in the future although that would depend on having the right access measures, such as a lift.

Islander Alan Davis has campaigned for a ring-fenced seat on the Co-op’s regional panel, so members on the islands can elect their own representative. A mainland-based volunteer currently represents islanders.

Alan argues that our unique identity, transport challenges and the importance of the store to Scilly warrant special treatment.

But Jenny Barnes, a national director with the firm, says lots of other areas in the UK are similarly unique and you don’t need to have a local on the panel to have your voice heard.

She says people can get in touch through other routes, such as their customer care line and the regional office in Cullompton.

Jenny says there is always room for improvement and she’s already seen a change at the store since her last visit earlier in the year. And she says she’s looking forward to even more improvements next year.

The free session, which includes a raffle and a chance to sample Co-op food, is on from 9.30am to 1pm at the Methodist Church Hall.


One Response to Co-Op Bosses On Two-Day Visit To Scilly