The Co-operative Group: NOMA’s new public area named after the pioneer James Sadler

MANCHESTER, England, 2015-9-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — The new public realm at the heart of the NOMA neighbourhood has been named Sadler’s Yard, inspired by the pioneer James Sadler, who made the first manned balloon flight in Manchester in March 1785.

The new name arrives following an open forum for Manchester residents to suggest a name for the public area, which is being created between the iconic CIS Tower, New Century House and Hanover opposite Victoria Station.  Shortlisted names were submitted to a specially selected panel, who considered each of the entries for their originality and rationale.

Simon Binns, a freelance journalist who chaired the panel, said:

“It was an incredibly difficult decision as we had received such a high number of entries, all of which had their merits but – following a long and interesting debate – Sadler’s Yard was the preferred option.  James Sadler was an innovator, entrepreneur and daredevil, and we are sure his spirit will be encapsulated in the Yard.”

David Pringle, Director of NOMA at The Co-operative Group, said:

“We are proud of the new name and believe that the people of Manchester will take it to their hearts.  We are looking forward to the first event in Sadler’s Yard, which is the official launch event in October.  We plan to bring a series of enjoyable and interesting events to Sadler’s Yard from the end of the year and throughout 2016 and beyond.”

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesperson, said:

“Manchester has an incredibly rich history and, in the naming of this new square, we had a rare opportunity to bring a piece of Manchester’s heritage back to the fore and celebrate a little known piece of the city’s past. We give you Sadler’s Yard.”

Richard O Smith is the author of ‘The Man with His Head in the Clouds’ – a biography of James Sadler, and he said:

“No list of Great Britons is complete without the name James Sadler and it’s great to hear his name and spirit will live on in Manchester – a place he had such an affinity with. He was the true pioneer of flight in this country – being the first Englishman to fly. Incredibly he managed that historic feat in a balloon he designed, built and piloted himself; not bad for a pastry chef. As one contemporary newspaper commented in Sadler’s lifetime on his celebrity status, everyone knew Sadler’s name, from the humblest cabbage seller to the mightiest lord.”

Sadler’s Yard, which will open in October 2015, will create a safe and welcoming space that will over time create a mix of cafés, restaurants, bars and shops nestled amongst the characterful buildings that form the NOMA listed estate.

The new city square is being delivered by NOMA and Manchester City Council and is supported by the European Regional Development Fund. It has been designed by Landscape Architects Planit-IE, and contractors Casey are on-site undertaking construction works.

About NOMA
NOMA is a 20 acre mixed-use, responsibly designed neighbourhood in Manchester’s city centre that puts people and community firmly at its heart.

NOMA is being delivered by a joint venture partnership between The Co-operative Group – The UK’s largest mutual business and a part of the NOMA estate for more than 160 years, and Hermes Investment Management – a multi-boutique investment management business owned by the largest corporate pension fund in the UK.

Together, the joint venture partnership will develop the buildings and land within NOMA to deliver new homes, offices, retail and leisure facilities and create new and enhanced public spaces in the centre of the city.

The NOMA second phase Public Realm project is part financed by the North West European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.  The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit


The new public square

The new public square

Co-operative named Most Improved Supermarket at Welfare Awards

The Co-operative has been named “Most Improved Supermarket” at Compassion in World Farming’s annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.

The accolade was presented to the retailer because of its move to convert all of its own-brand fresh pork and sausages to its higher welfare Elmwood standard earlier this year.

The Co-operative worked with a group of specialist British pig farmers to identify issues regarding the welfare of the sows and piglets throughout the farming process. The Elmwood standard includes reduced transport time, increased natural light, straw bedding, environmental enrichments and a healthier diet for the pigs.

The retailer’s move to extend the Elmwood standard to fresh pork followed the conversion of all its fresh own-brand British chicken to Elmwood or above, starting with fresh whole chickens in October 2007.

The Co-operative’s Elmwood British chicken range now also includes own-brand fresh chicken fillets and portions, as well as fresh chicken products including barbecue, breaded, flavoured and ready-to-eat roast and flavoured chicken. In 2010, Elmwood was rolled out to include all own-brand whole turkeys, crowns and fresh plain turkey products – including fillets, steaks, mince and pieces.

The Co-operative also won a Good Dairy Award, partly in recognition of its forthcoming move in August to a dedicated milk producer scheme, whereby some 240 British dairy farmers will receive a support package including a price premium in return for high standards in animal welfare.

Andrew Nicholson, Agricultural Development Manager at The Co-operative Group, commented: “We’re pleased to win these prestigious awards in recognition of the moves we have made over the last twelve months to further improve animal welfare.

“Animal welfare and supporting British farmers are very important to our business, and add to our Co-operative difference. As an organisation owned and shaped by our members, we always strive to shape our business based on our ethical principles. Animal welfare forms an integral part of our Ethical Plan, launched earlier this year.”

Co-operative Crowned Responsible Retailer For Fourth Year Running

The Co-operative Group has been crowned Responsible Retailer of the Year at the prestigious Oracle Retail Week Awards 2011, which recognise the very best in UK retailing.

It is the fourth year running that the consumer-owned retailer has taken the fiercely contested title, but the judges said The Co-operative was a clear winner and still “streets ahead” in the responsible retailing stakes.

The Co-operative, which raised the bar further in February with the launch of its groundbreaking Ethical Operating Plan, beat Asda, B&Q, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco to take the coveted “green” award.

The depth of The Co-operative’s commitment to being a responsible business and the sheer scope of its initiatives, from inspiring young people to tackling global poverty, impressed the judges.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, said: “The Retail Week Awards recognise the very best in the highly competitive UK retailing industry, not just the grocery sector, so to win this particular accolade four years in succession is an incredible achievement.

“However, as the launch of The Co-operative Ethical Plan demonstrates, we are not resting on our laurels, and this award recognises the hard work and commitment of colleagues across the Group in delivering our Co-operative difference and campaigning for what we believe in, supported by our members and customers.”

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Strand Store Spearheads Co-operative Expansion Plans

The Co-operative Group now has a food store in every UK postal area after unwrapping a flagship store in the Strand, London WC2.

The opening of the £1 million convenience store in central London marks a major milestone for the consumer-owned retailer and emphasises its unique community reach.

The Co-operative’s Strand store is also believed to be the first convenience store in the UK to be 100 per cent illuminated by innovative energy-saving LED lighting, which saves at least 35 per cent on lighting energy consumption. Along with general store lighting all fridges, freezers and external signage use Philips LED lighting technology.

Protecting the environment by reducing energy consumption is a key element of The Co-operative’s Ethical Operating Plan, which is part of their Join the Revolution campaign and includes the toughest carbon reduction targets of any major business in the UK.

The flagship store, which is open 24 hours, is spearheading The Co-operative’s ambitious plans to open more than 300 food outlets over the next three years, creating around 7,000 jobs.

The expansion plans include a renewed focus on stores in city centre locations, including the capital, where The Co-operative is looking to increase its presence.

Following the acquisition of the Somerfield supermarket chain in March 2009, The Co-operative Food is already the UK’s fifth largest food retailer with nearly 3,000 local communities stores nationwide.

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The Co-operative Group Reports Solid Trading Results For The Fourth Quarter Of 2010

The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest mutual retailer, today announces a solid trading performance for the fourth quarter, against the backdrop of a tough trading environment, exacerbated by the severe weather conditions.

Food store exteriorAcross the Trading Group – which encompasses all Co-operative Group retail businesses, but excludes financial services – like-for-like sales fell by 0.6%* in the 13 weeks to 1st Jan 2011. In Food, like-for-like sales fell 3.2%, as a result of the impact of the extreme weather on both footfall and spending patterns across the Group’s national network, as well as the planned acceleration of the programme to convert Somerfield stores to The Co-operative Group fascia. During the period close to 200 stores were closed on average for seven days a time to allow for
full refits. Despite this the core convenience estate, which includes both Co-operative & Somerfield stores, saw like-for-like sales increase by 2%.

Combined like-for-like sales in the Group’s non-food businesses increased by 12.1% with particularly strong sales performances from the online electrical, motor and travel operations.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, said “We have delivered a solid trading performance across our retail businesses in a difficult environment. The exceptionally cold weather created logistical issues for our food stores – particularly given the sheer scale and geographic spread of our estate. Our people worked exceptionally hard to ensure that we provided a great service to all our customers – and the strong performance of our core convenience estate is a testament to all their efforts.

“The planned acceleration of the Somerfield conversion programme was an added issue– but this continues at pace and we remain on track to complete the process by Spring 2011.

“The performance of our non-food businesses was very strong overall and, together with the excellent progress made by our financial services business, we are confident that 2010 will have proved to be another record year for The Co-operative Group.”

The Co-operative Group is one of the UK’s leading businesses and the world’s largest consumer-owned co-operative. The Group is the fifth biggest food retailer and the leading convenience store operator and The Co-operative Financial Services runs the largest “super mutual”.

Other interests include the third largest retail pharmacy chain, the number one funeral services business, Britain’s biggest farmer and a leading travel agency. The Co-operative Group employs 120,000 people, and has over 6 million members. As well as delivering on its financial and operational goals which also include various corporate social responsibility matters such as environmental awareness and global poverty, The Co-operative Group aims to deliver on its social goals, playing an active part supporting local communities and the wider world.

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The Co-operative Wins National Business Award For Corporate Social Responsibility

The Co-operative Group’s leadership position in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has again been recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The Group won the award for CSR at the influential ninth annual National Business Awards in partnership with Orange held at Grosvenor House in London

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, who won the Orange Leader of the Year at same event last year said: “Yet again our exemplary work in CSR has been recognised on the national stage.

“As well as being commercially successful, the Co-operative Group is a business with strong ethical foundations and our values influence not only what we do with our profits but how those profits are made in the first place.

“This is a great achievement for every member of staff who help us to deliver the Co-operative difference day in day out across our complete family of businesses.”

Philip Forrest, Chairman of Judges, the National Business Awards said: “The UK’s largest mutual – comprising food, farming, financial and funeral services – is a beacon of best practice. Judges were impressed by the Group’s proactive work, whether it relates to tar sands within its toxic fuels campaigning or sustainable lending practices through its banking arm.”

The Co-operative not only takes pride in its efforts towards CSR but also in its promotion of community living initiatives across the UK.

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Co-Operative Crowned Responsible Retailer For Third Year Running

The Co-operative Group has been named Responsible Retailer of the Year for the third year running in the prestigious Oracle Retail Week Awards, which recognise the very best in UK retailing.

The judges described the Group as an outstanding business, whose breadth of initiatives and depth of commitment to being a responsible business meant The Co-operative stood out from the rest of the shortlist, made up of Asda, B & Q, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. One judge said The Co-operative is “streets ahead of anyone else in this field”.

Highlights of Co-operative activity which impressed the judges in 2009 included the launch of Plan Bee to reverse the decline of the British bee population and save the bees, work towards the creation of new marine reserves to help protect UK fish stocks, and working with WWF to focus on the environmental and social impact of tar sands extraction as part of its toxic fuels campaign against Dirty Oil.

Ongoing initiatives also showed real progress according to the judges – carrier bag use is down 60 per cent at Co-operative Food stores and its higher-welfare Elmwood standard has been extended to all Co-operative fresh and frozen chicken. The Group’s ongoing and growing commitment to Fairtrade was also recognised.

Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group, said: “These awards recognise the very best in UK retailing, not just in the grocery sector, so it is a tremendous achievement to win at this event, but to win this particular accolade three years in succession is incredible.

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