Co-operative Food set to join online stampede

THE Co-operative Group is set to launch an online grocery service, with trials beginning later this year.

The Manchester-based group has so far shunned trying to take a slice of the £6.1bn home delivery cake, in the belief that many of its customers see it just as a top-up retailer, but it has now had a change of heart.

Steve Murrells, chief executive – retail, said: “We’re currently looking at a number of digital solutions to provide an online grocery offering, which will complement our strong community food retailing position.

“We recognise that the online grocery market is a rapidly growing channel, which provides a significant opportunity for us as, primarily, a convenience retailer. 

“We have trials planned later in the year to help us identify the best convenient solution to online food retailing.”

The Co-operative Group, which has been beset by problems in its banking division, is announcing its half year results next week.