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United Co-operatives

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United Co-operatives

United Co-operatives Limited
Former type Consumer Co-operative
Industry Retail (Grocery), Travel agency, Retail (Vehicles), Services Group, Pharmacies, Funeral directors
Founded 1844 (1844)
Defunct 2007
Headquarters Rochdale, United Kingdom
Key people Peter Marks, Chief Executive Officer
Revenue £9 billion
Employees 87,500
Website united.coop at the Wayback Machine

United Co-operatives Limited, or simply United Co-op, was the largest regional consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom until its merger with The Co-operative Group in 2007. The Society operated across Yorkshire, the north west and north Midlands of England. It came about from the merger of United NorWest and Yorkshire Co-operative Society in September 2002.

United Norwest, in turn, arose from the Norwest Pioneers, which had the Rochdale Pioneers as a direct predecessor. Rochdale Pioneers was the prototypical consumer co-operative, formed in 1844.[1][2]

The key businesses of the Society were food retailing, travel retail, car dealerships (Sunwin Motor Group), pharmacies and funerals. The underperforming non-food department stores, most of which were inherited via Yorkshire Co-operatives, were closed or sold-off. The former Normid chain of superstores was owned by the society.

United's pharmacies and food stores had a distinct logo that was not to be confused with The Co-operative Group's own chain of pharmacies and food stores which adopt a slightly different logo and fascia. However, post-merger former United sites will adopt the new branding.

In late 2006, members voted for a merger with the smaller Sheffield Co-operative Society, giving United a greater presence in South Yorkshire. On December 11, 2006, members voted for a merger with Leeds Co-operative Society, which has similar statistics to Sheffield Co-op, this was confirmed with a second vote in January 2007.[3]

At the end of 2006, the boards of United and the larger Co-operative Group announced that they were having initial talks regarding a merger between them, the UK's two largest co-operative societies. This merger was agreed in early 2007 and the two completed the merger on 29 July 2007, at which point United Co-operatives ceased to exist as an independent Society.

Normid

Normid was the name the United Co-operatives used for their largest stores located in the north of England. In its heyday, Normid superstores sold food, DIY products and electrical items. By the time of United's merger with the Co-operative Group, the business had decided to concentrate on smaller stores and supermarkets and planned to rebrand the remaining stores as 'The Co-operative Food'.

The flagship store was at Burnden Park, Bolton, home of Bolton Wanderers Football Club. The controversial store opened in the mid 1980s and closed in 1997, shortly after Bolton's move to the Reebok Stadium. Ironically, one of the main reasons BWFC moved was because Normid prevented redevelopment. The site was derelict for several years and demolished in 2001 to make way for a new retail park including an Asda supermarket.

Normid was sponsor of Bolton Wanderers from 1986 until 1990.

Other stores were located in Blackpool, Crewe, Wigan, Widnes, Talke (near Kidsgrove), Chorley, Hindley and Blackburn. Normid 1 was based in Crewe, Normid 2 Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Normid 3 was Milehouse, Newcastle-under-Lyme. Normid 4 Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Normid 5 was the Hypermarket at Talke. Normid 6 and 7 were Macclesfield and Longton.

References

  1. ^ "Records of the Manchester and Salford Equitable Co-operative Society: Administrative history".  
  2. ^ "Share Book Search: Rochdale Pioneers".  
  3. ^ http://www.united.coop/NewsLeeds.asp

External links

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