Engaging with ‘reluctant co-ops’

As the co-operative economy grows, so does the phenomenon of co-operative denial. While many businesses see the benefits of marketing themselves as a co-op, other will simply not use the ‘c’ word.

The John Lewis Partnership, for example, is listed in the Co-operative Economy 2014 as the UK’s second biggest co-op, with a turnover of £10bn. But, says its principal spokesperson Neil Spring, “while we fall into the very broad category of being a co-operative, we’re principally and constitutionally an employee benefit trust, and identify as such”.

Co-operatives UK engages with co-ops whether they promote their co-operative credentials or not. New entries in its Co-operative Economy Top 100 include hotel chain Best Western and a clutch of housing associations with a combined turnover of almost £150m.

Source:: Co-operative News

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