New Jacques Vert concession launched as Tamworth Co-op’s department store looks to the future

Graham Soult

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

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8 Responses

  1. Lissie says:

    It would be so much better if all the various coops would amalgamate; they would have so much more purchasing power. Its as though they are run for the benefit of the board and staff members, not the people who shop there.

    • Graham Soult says:

      Hi Lissie, much of the remaining non-food buying (and most of the food buying too) is done via group purchasing arrangements anyway, so merging all the Co-ops wouldn’t make much difference from that point of view!

  2. RetroGadget says:

    Will look out for it…I’ve visited six of the eight closing stores over time.

  3. RetroGadget says:

    Just heard the sad – but not totally surprising news, that the Midlands Co-op are closing eight of their Home and Fashion department stores across the Midlands.

  4. Chris says:

    The Penrith society seem to have just switched from using the receipt system:

    I can’t help feeling it would be better if all the societies participated in the group dividend scheme. Tamworth has nearly 40 food stores within a 10 mile radius operated by TCG, Midlands and Midcounties as well as Tamworth. It can only be a source of confusion and frustration to customers for all those stores to have the group branding and yet some have a different dividend scheme.

    As far as branding the department store goes why not follow Midlands and Heart of england and adopt the Cooperative brand, their stores look very smart in it.

  5. Richard says:

    Its good to hear that the store is in some ways on the up – I always enjoy my visits a couple of times each year on the train from Birmingham. I think your observation about Toymaster is interesting – especially as I believe they are also a co-operative consortium (i.e. a co-op of independent retailers who share buying, ranging and marketing functions). Similarly, I wonder if the DIY offering would be more coherent if delivered through Mica, itself a co-operative of independents in the sector?

    • Graham Soult says:

      You’re absolutely right about the structure of Toymaster, Richard – from what I understand it is basically a Euronics-style buying group, consisting of independent retailers. There is a Co-op history there too – I believe the toy departments in ARCS’ retained Blyth and Scunthorpe stores are Toymaster concessions, though I assume Beales has taken it in-house in its acquired stores, as it did in Hexham when it took over the Robbs store.

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