Food price warning from Co-op chief

macleodr

RISING costs resulting from Brexit and the lower value of sterling are the ‘single biggest problem’ for the Channel Islands Co-op this year, chief executive Colin Macleod has said.

Commenting on the society’s annual report for 2016, ahead of Tuesday's annual general meeting for members, Mr Macleod said that although food price increases in Co-op stores had been kept to a minimum at the end of last year, that could not continue indefinitely.

A 4% members’ dividend has once again been recommend and will be put to the vote during the meeting.

‘I am really pleased that we were able to protect consumers to the extent we were able to, but I think reluctantly that was a holding position, rather than a permanent one,’ said Mr Macleod.

‘At the back end of last year we were catapulted into some difficult discussions with suppliers who were trying to push some fairly heavy price increases our way, as a result of the currency fluctuation.

'I think it is true to say that we tried to shield our community from the results of Brexit and coming just before Christmas it seemed the right thing to do.

‘But our single biggest problem at the moment, our biggest challenge, is trying to rebalance the costs of this business while keeping pricing affordable for the community and maintaining the strength of the dividend,' he added.

The society’s report for the year to 8 January shows an increase in turnover, from £168.7m in 2015 to £172m, but a decrease in profit before tax, from £2,761,000 in 2015 to 597,000 last year.

Mr Macleod said the main reason for the decrease was a one-off £3m gain in 2015 following the revaluation of two properties. ‘Actually our underlying trade position is good, in fact better than any major multiple in the UK last year, particularly when you add in the value of the community dividend,’ he said.

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Comments for: "Food price warning from Co-op chief"

j_longsden

its funny how Iceland still manage to keep their prices to nearly half of the Co-op's still.

Shadow

Please someone in government for crying out loud, let aldi and/or lidl into the island but not as a franchise through CI Traders. Let them in because we bloody need them!!! at their prices, not Jersey's. Unless you want to feed families in the chambers who wont be able to afford the insanely expensive prices we have to endure for our lovely beaches!!!

jersey man

Its funny when on the mainland, I see adverts for jersey royals [potatoes] stating they are not royals unless picked and grew in Jersey, the funny bit is they for sale in lidl's and we don't have Lidl here in jersey and why not.???

1 to 1

Same rubbish quality food for more money its defo gone down hill

Island Strife

Yup. Brexit (in 5 years) is going to make prices rise before its even happened.

So let's maintain our profits while passing on added expenses to the customer.

I wonder how many people realise that the staff at St. Mary garage felt when told by Macleod that there will be no bonus for them this year as the chiller cabinet broke and sales went down.

Yup - electrical failure they're certainly not responsible for, but bonuses lost for them all because of it.

Despicable.

That's your caring sharing Co-Op

The Mystic

Get some quality food in that doesn't go bad in a day then.

Had one of the worst customer interactions in my entire life with the Co Op recently, from the top too!

Pull your socks up with quality and customer service or you are going to lose more and more customers.

Right said Fred

Go in Co-op Don Duhamel Lane. Use auto tills. Realise they don't work. Wait for someone to come along. Watch as they speak in another language to someone. Get the hump. Leave never to return.

Bo

Mr Macleod,

Your prices are outrageous to say the least, what you call fresh, veg, fruit, meats are tasteless and perish very quickly.

I personally purchase all none perishable items from Amazon Pantry now at a fraction of the cost and without GST. The items selected are well packed and are on your doorstep with a couple of days and all from the comfort of my chair.

The COOP's days as well as the likes of Iceland, M&S & Waitrose unless they sit up and take notice as a number of my friends have turned to Amazon after seeing the savings I am making, monies the supermarkets are now loosing

Squawkie L Pelican

Me too, the coop's one redeeming feature could have been fuller shelves during bad weather thanks to the warehouse. Now that's gone.

Shadow

on it, spread the word. It's a free market so while amazon doesn't sit right with me concerning their tax, If I can find a better deal in this greedy as hell island, then I'll take it.

Finbarr Saunders

Well the procurement team at the coop are just going to have to negotiate better deals. The answer is not to just put the price up - to compete they must get smarter. Their pricing across non-food products is pretty poor, charging VAT equivalent prices. A relative was looking for furniture sold at the coop andthey would not budge a penny on the price, not even taking off VAT. Yet a friendly UK supplier immediately did this for the same items and even discounted it further. All in all, after shipping costs and GST, a saving of more than 20% over the coop price.

Peter.G.

It's not just the customer its the supermarket buyer that needs to shop around. I can buy an Iceberg lettuce priced at 2.68 per kilo or I can drive 20 miles into another country and buy an Iceberg lettuce that varies between 500 grams to a kilo for .85 cents per unit. Its not just the lettuce that is fresher and less than half the price, it is he runner beans, onions, pears, apples etc that are cheaper. Half the car license plates in the supermarket car-park show foreign plates (not GB), so its not just me that finds it worth the 5€ spent on fuel to travel the 40 mile return trip to get their weekly shop.

It seems sellers tend to charge Jersey buyers top dollar because they think like many others that most of the Jersey residents are millionaires, if only? Jersey needs buyers that know the trade and play hardball with sellers who want to ply their trade in Jersey.