Britain's sleeping retail giant, the Co-operative movement, whose commercial activities extend from supermarkets to department stores to morticians and banking, is to adopt a national brand identity. The Co-op also embraces over 500 chemists and travel agencies, opticians, dairies, service stations and auto businesses.

At present, the group's branding is highly fragmented with many of its retailing operations eschewing its name altogether. The revamp is vital, says the movement’s secretary Alan Donelly, if the Co-op is to compete on level ground with retail titans likeTesco and Wal-Mart.

In addition to the rebranding, the Co-op also plans to diversify into new business sectors appropriate to its community image and values, long term care for the elderly for example. It also aims to enhance the standing of its brand by withholding its use by under-performing regional retailers.

The revamp is triggered by a major survey and report carried out in 1999 by the Co-operative Commission.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)