The Co-op has invested a further £70m investment into lowering pricing for customers as its losses narrowed after the sale of its forecourts business to Asda.
The retailer pumped £20m into price cuts in the first half year and said it now has plans for a further £70m investment, which includes 200 reductions for users of its loyalty card scheme.
The company, which also runs a funeral service, bank and insurance firm, said it also invested £5m in extending its 30 per cent colleague discount on Co-op branded products in its stores.
It comes as grocery stores such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s have faced backlash from consumer choice group Which?, after it alleged the grocers could be hiking their ‘regular’ prices to make loyalty scheme customers feel they are getting a discount.
Both supermarkets have denied the claims.
According to its latest interim results, Co-op’s revenues dipped to £5.2bn down from £5.4bn in the same period last year, with the company blaming lower revenue in its food retail business, resulting from the impact of its £600m petrol forecourt sale to Asda.
Underlying earnings (EBITDA) grew to £226m up from £199m and underlying loss before tax narrowed to nine million, £59m less than last year’s figures.
Shirine Khoury-Haq, chief executive of the Co-op, said:“The business momentum established in the second half of the last financial year has carried through into the first six months of 2023 and has allowed us to significantly strengthen our membership offer and proposition – we have put our member-owners at the heart of what we do.”
“We have listened to what they need, and we have not hesitated in our response. While there remains much for us to do, I’d like to thank all of our colleagues for their hard work in the first six months, which is delivering meaningful benefits for our members and their communities.”