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BOYCOTT YOUR LOCAL CO-OP: Co-Op to put single mums out of business

(90 Posts)
MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:00:25

I live in Cuckfield, a small Sussex village which is currently in turmoil.

The Co-Op, who already have a shop at one end of Cuckfield, intend to open a new, much bigger branch at the opposite end on a site which until this summer was a 200 year-old pub, The Ship.

What has really upset us locals is that the pub sits immediately next to a small village shop and sub post office, Wealdon Stores, which is run by a pair of hard-working single mums who live above the shop with their children. They make a modest living by working hard and supporting their families.

They sell all the usual, newspapers, basic groceries, a smattering of stationery and they do their best to stock local produce and their shop is always full of local chatter and gossip. Totally unlike the homogenised, sanitised CO-OP, which churns out nothing remotely locally produced or thoughtfully sourced.

The new shop being planned by the self-styled "ethical" CO-OP (as their new ad campaign goes to great lengths to emphasize), will put the shop and these ladies (Dawn and Janine), out of business within months, so that, along with their business, they also risk losing their home.

We have had no response from the CO-OP on the matter of what would happen to them, presumably because they couldn't give a damn about destroying their little shop and pulling the plug on their livelihood.
CO-OP representatives even had the gall to describe Wealden Stores as a health store in their application meeting with the parish council, thereby suggesting that there would be no conflict in business.
It would appear that there are no depths which CO-OP representatives will not plunder in order to get their new shop opened.
What complete nonsense and sheer hypocrisy.

The time has come for DIRECT ACTION.

******BOYCOTT YOUR LOCAL CO-OP*****

Here's a video made by local celeb Christian Stephenson, aka DJ-BBQ, (from Jamie Oliver's programme), which explains the situation very succinctly:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5z67MHqzS0

If you have the time, please sign our petition:

https://www.change.org/p/mid-sussex-district-council-issue-an-immediate-article-4-direction-on-the-ship-inn-cuckfield

Please support us, sign and BOYCOTT YOUR LOCAL CO-OP in protest.

If you have the time, contact Steve Murrells of the Co-Op and register your feelings:

steve.murrells@co-operative.coop

I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. He hasn't had the manners to reply to me, perhaps a slew of e-mails from other Mumsnetters will inspire him to be more courteous.

lougle Fri 14-Nov-14 22:04:28

It's business. Sad, but true.

BackOnlyBriefly Fri 14-Nov-14 22:08:58

Those little shops can be nice and I understand why you want to keep them, but this is how competition works. If most people preferred the little shops they would prosper and the co-op would close down. The fact is most people will want to use the co-op.

So effectively you are outvoted already.

Roseformeplease Fri 14-Nov-14 22:11:58

So don't shop on your Co-op. I have to use mine as there is no other supermarket for 45 miles. Sad that small businesses are squeezed out but you live in a populated area where, one assumes, there are a number of choices for consumers, many of which impact in small businesses.

bigbluestars Fri 14-Nov-14 22:18:45

"which churns out nothing remotely locally produced or thoughtfully sourced."

That is just not true. I work for a producer which supplies the Co-op and our products are ethical, sustainable and local. We are a small family run business and have a huge pride in our product

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:35:59

Unfortunately our CO-OPs in this part of Sussex seem to hand-source everything from their supply depots.
I have never seen any local produce in any of their (many) local outlets.
Bottom line: their way of serving our community is to foist their over-priced, mass-produced products onto us.
Once they have knocked Wealden Stores out of business they will have a monopoly and will be the only food shop in the village, excluding the petrol station.

Ethical CO-OP?
I think not.

bigbluestars Fri 14-Nov-14 22:42:44

I;m sorry but if had to choose between a co-op or an expensive little shop "always full of gossip" then it would be the co-op.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:45:13

So, we roll over and let the corporates tear our communities to shreds? Especially when the manner in which they went about obtaining the premises in the first place are thought by some to be questionable?

Local people will not benefit, the heart of the village, some 1/2 mile down the road, will not have any food shop at all. Local bus services are dreadful.
Two families will be left without a source of income.
This is aimed solely at passing traffic and will be of no benefit to the community.

Would you consider that acceptable progress? Particularly from a company which smears itself in caring, ethical, community based publicity?

IneedAwittierNickname Fri 14-Nov-14 22:45:28

My other local shops are a small tesco or an expensive local shop. Lots of locals are boycotting tesco because they are taking over and are already morally dubious (apparently)
I'll shop wherever is cheapest.

ouryve Fri 14-Nov-14 22:48:31

I lived somewhere that had a high street with a small but useful supermarket. The high street was thriving. Then the supermarket disappeared (company went bust). Within 3 months, half of the other shops had gone, because people got on a bus or in their cars and went elsewhere to do their midweek shopping.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:48:34

It isn't any more expensive than the CO-OP, which in this neck of the woods is way more expensive than Tesco. Given the choice between local produce or food packaged and shrink-wrapped in a huge depot somewhere along the M25, to me there's no contest.

IneedAwittierNickname Fri 14-Nov-14 22:50:40

Really? Bread is cheaper in the coop than the tesco at the moment. Both are cheaper than the small local shop. Milk is on offer in the Co op. I do most of my shopping at morrisons but walk to local shops for my top ups.

usualsuspect333 Fri 14-Nov-14 22:51:33

My DS works for the Co Op.

So no. unless you want to see him out of a job.

bigbluestars Fri 14-Nov-14 22:52:20

"Given the choice between local produce or food packaged and shrink-wrapped in a huge depot somewhere along the M25, to me there's no contest." I agree- and that is why I like the Co-op.

We produce an artisan food by hand and sell it in the Co-op.

bloodyteenagers Fri 14-Nov-14 22:52:37

So where do those 1/2 mile down the road currently shop?
Surely local people will benefit in jobs?

Here we have supermarkets and local businesses. It's business. As a business owner you go into it knowing that there is one day the possibility of having competition.

TaraKnowles Fri 14-Nov-14 22:55:23

I know Cuckfield (Liindfielder) and am sorry that this is happening. It's hard to convey the character of the village.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:55:50

Until now, people in the village centre have relied on the CO-OP. The two shops have co-existed very well.
This will not create many new jobs with the new shop, the current one is already well-staffed.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 22:57:14

Not when you buy a business which is situated NEXT TO A PUB which is then sneakily converted into a supermarket

ShatnersBassoon Fri 14-Nov-14 22:57:37

I love my local Co-Op. It does a great deal for local charities and has a brilliant stock range. I definitely won't boycott it.

It's a shame for your friends, but why act as if it's beyond the pale for the Co-Op to want to make profit by opening new shops?

ShatnersBassoon Fri 14-Nov-14 22:58:18

It won't have been converted sneakily. There will have been planning applications etc.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 23:00:04

It was sold to a publican-whose son turns out to be a property developer, who then acted on behalf of the CO-OP.
Apparently it is not illegal to lie on a planning application.

AnneEyhtMeyer Fri 14-Nov-14 23:07:30

If "the locals" had used the pub regularly enough to make it a viable business then it wouldn't have been sold to the Coop, I imagine.

If all "the locals" who currently use the local shop continue to use the local shop and do not use the Coop then that branch of the Coop will be sold to another business. So there is your plan of action, surely?

I fail to see how someone miles away boycotting their local Coop will influence the purchasing decisions of the people who live in your village.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 23:15:17

Locals will do their best to support the shop, but there is limited parking and the bread-and-butter market of passing trade will no doubt use it to visit the more high-profile and recognisable CO-OP.
All we ask is that, if you have a choice between your local CO-OP and A.N.Other retail outlet, please use the latter.
The issue of pub custom is a whole other topic which has no bearing on the shop.
The former publican wouldn't permit children in, which, along with many other families automatically killed off our patronage at a stroke.

MrsCuckoo Fri 14-Nov-14 23:17:39

Locals will do their best to support the shop, but there is limited parking and the bread-and-butter market of passing trade will no doubt use it to visit the more high-profile and recognisable CO-OP.
All we ask is that, if you have a choice between your local CO-OP and A.N.Other retail outlet, please use the latter.
The issue of pub custom is a whole other topic which has no bearing on the shop.
The former publican wouldn't permit children in, which, along with many other families, automatically killed off our patronage at a stroke.

Redglitter Fri 14-Nov-14 23:23:46

I'm sorry so I should go to a less convenient more expensive shop to support 2 people at the other end of the country who I've never met. nice idea but it's not going to happen. Even if several hundred people boycott their Co - op for you it'll make no difference.

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