Vergo rebranding riddle continues

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Looking towards the Co-op / Vergo / unnamed store in Carr Street, Ipswich. Photograph by Tim Marchant

Regular readers may recall my post from last month, where I queried how the former East of England Co-op department stores might be rebranded following their takeover by the Lewis’s of Liverpool owner, Vergo Retail.

One advantage of spending the last three years working as a market researcher is that I will now quite happily pick up the phone and speak to anybody. Equally, I have become pretty tenacious in digging around until I find out the answers to niggling questions. I thought, therefore, that I’d put these skills to the test.

A day or two ago, I picked up the phone and called – as you do – the former Co-op, now Vergo-owned, department store in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. “I hope you don’t mind me asking a slightly unusual question”, I said to the very pleasant woman who answered, “but are you able to tell me what your store is now called?”.

“I don’t know!”, was the friendly response. “I’m not sure if it’s been decided yet. It might just be Vergo Clacton.”

So, not a huge leap further forward there. However, the very helpful woman advised that Vergo Retail’s head office might have the answer I was looking for. Conversations with two more very friendly ladies in Liverpool prompted similar responses; clearly the stores could no longer use the Co-op name, but my contacts did not think – beyond referring to the new shops as Vergo department stores – that an alternative brand had been decided upon.

How much less complicated things were with Vergo’s earlier acquisitions in the South West, where the Plymouth Co-op department store already had a brand – Derrys – that was distinct from its Co-op identity, and all that needed to be done was to remove all the Co-op cloverleaf logos.

For now then, the branding of the former East of England Co-op stores still seems to be in flux. However, given the number of searches for ‘Vergo Retail’ – and even ‘Vergo Retail rebrand’! – that are showing up in my blog stats, I can take some solace from the fact that I’m not the only person who’s curious!

Thank you to Tim Marchant for the use of the photograph of Carr Street in Ipswich, which is © Copyright Tim Marchant and licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Licence.

Graham Soult

Retail consultant, writer, blogger; helping retailers via and Say hello on Twitter at @soult!

You may also like...

1 Response

Leave a Reply