I was stopped the other day in my local Co-op Group store by a woman from a market research company undertaking research for the Co-op.
I was asked to rate, on a scale of 1 to 10, a number of aspects of the store. Fresh fruit and veg, for example. What would you say? I gave it 5 out of 10. Well, let’s be honest, I don’t think the Co-op offers particularly good quality produce and although it’s a few years since we went through a whole Autumn without a single English apple on sale (and a few more years back since the co-op astonishingly ran completely out of potatoes one day) there is certainly no room for complacency.
The tidiness of the store? Again, not great. There seems a lack of managerial oversight which gives attention to important details like this.
Value for money? Expensive, compared with the larger supermarkets, although perhaps the fairer comparison is with small convenience stores.
I wasn’t asked about my experience of the self-service kiosks, so I wasn’t able to report the recent occasion when the machine gobbled up a £20 note of mine without appearing to notice it. But I was able to rate staff helpfulness very highly.
It’s good that the Co-op Group is trying to understand what its customers think of its store. My market researcher seemed surprised I had been quite so negative. Just trying to be helpful.