Welcome to the people’s shop

Welcome to the people’s shop

My local Co-op is a store that we, of Kemptown in Brighton, could not do without. The queue is constantly snaking around this tiny shop, which is groaning under the pressure of the locals’ expectation of it.

It was an okay shop of convenience before, but it has recently changed – I love the new brand (or old re-brand, or old brand, whatever)

And I think they should be proud of the stance they have made. We are in the early stages of a brand revolution, I think.

Brand confidence is back and the Co-op is doing it well.

They have changed their look and brought it back to where they were in the sixties (we are seeing a lot of this I admit, but how nice to have heritage in this fast changing unemotional, unengaged world we live in right now).

They have changed their product too. Or at least I think they have. Maybe the product is the same, but the brand is making it look and taste better.  Maybe the way they present it is making me feel happier about it. And maybe they have added a couple of pence to each product – who knows? They are doing such a good job I just don’t care.

A while ago, I was discussing with my wife, Louise, what we could do with our soon-to-be-empty shop space that sits bang opposite the Kemptown Co-op. We thought about a whole food cafe that could become a community hub and give something back to the community, by putting a percentage back.

This already happens. It’s in the Co-op.

Every time you buy (if you are a member – another thing they are doing well) they put a little aside to give back to the community. They have chosen charities that relate back to that community. They are doing good. Good Co-op.

So there is nothing deeper in what I am saying. Maybe some other companies could learn from this business. I think they are way cleverer than anything that Waitrose do. And in the meantime I add a photo of the new store, shot from the rear of my house. Look at that last little bit. The perfectly placed brand positioning finale – welcome to Kemptown’s Co-op. Now that’s community spirit, and from a big player too. The little things can do a lot. That’s why we love good branding.


  • May 15, 2017

    Graham McKenzie

    I agree and coops across the country have added something to the community. They have, however, been accused of land grabs in certain areas forcing even older established family stores out of business e.g North Cuckfield , West Sussex

  • May 19, 2017

    Anna Dewis

    I like the Co-op ethos if only they could sort out their stores. Is there a new store layout too in the Kemptown outlet? The customer experience is often overlooked in the smaller stores e.g. Fiveways whereby you can’t even get at the produce because the aisles are too narrow to comfortably accommodate everyone. Plus, the queue for the tills often snakes down the aisles. You can feel the tension and irritability from the customers. A have to gird my loins every time I go in because I end up wanting to kill someone.

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