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The Legend
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Good riddance. Let's see if the staff are any more cheerful at the job centre.
I would imagine most of the would be relocated. Word in the industry is that the COOP is struggling with higher members of staff, I.E. managers, assistant managers, supervisors etc. A lot of the senior team members would have been trained in these roles and other would still be needed in other stores.
 

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The Legend
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All those people and the service is still shite.

A lesson for the public sector, there.
It's a problem well known with COOP stores. Half of the custom to my shop comes in because of the poor customer service with the COOP. It's not just one or two stores, it must go right the down to the interview and training process. Unfortunately though the COOP has monopolised a lot of areas, maybe not the North East as they have in other areas, in particular North Yorkshire where in the smaller towns and villages they have no competition at all. That then makes the problem fairly large because customers can't vote with their feet.
 

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Flagged this in another thread, but there is a small local Co-op to open on market street.

I would really like to like the Co op shops but my experience remains of an odd product mix and frequently Eastern European customer service. Reminds me of Jubilat in Krakow, or Moscow as it used to be 'meat, nyet no meat' said with all of the charm of someone working on the counter of the post office on benefit day.

Set aside the building redevelopment; Newgate street would have been screwed sooner or later by being bracketed by the big Clayton St Tesco and smaller Sainsburys. Not an argument for either outfit, but head to head with the Newgate st co op and.. stick a fork in it, turn it over, it's done.

I ve always thought that with their local shtick they would have had more small scale city centre 'metro' type shops, but it's a very odd organisation and probably a step too far for them. I wonder how many people who shop in co ops have any idea of the political/social agenda/philosophy of the organisation - can't take this to the bank but I suspect not one in a thousand.
 

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Wasn't the COOP formed for the working class, and mostly managed by the working class?
These comments are really in relation to the Co op as we see it here in the UK [shops, bank, insurance etc] and not co operatives in the wider mutual sense. It s also a re hash & mash-up of a post made elsewhere in this forum, so apologies if you've heard this all before....

My ex was head of HR for a business [let's call it a division of the] in Co-op movement so I spent many happy [not] days hearing about the Rochdale pioneers and the benefits of the co-op.

There's more to it than this but [setting to one side arguments about the Aberdeen Shore Porter Society] it was initially really a lower middle class/trade/petite bourgeois movement started in the industrial north in part to ensure that food which was sold was unadulterated. Look at the Rochdale Pioneers as a starting point.

It's a very complex, not very well connected organisation, in fact to an extent it's almost a 'brand' with various businesses sharing an identity, but not necessarily connecting. It's improved in that there is now a national CRS/CWS strategy/business which didn't exist until fairly recently but even so it tries to be everything to everyone.

Many are unaware that the co op also has it's own political party:

http://www.party.coop/

though candidates stand on a labour-co operative party ticket. Ed Balls for example is actually a co op MP.

My experiences, peripherally from sort of the inside [though a few years ago now] and also as a customer is that it was the closest thing to having Sunderland Council running a chain of shops [or travel agents, or funeral services, insurance, banks etc etc].

There was a tremendous degree of 'not invented here' inertia. As Grace has identified elsewhere there was also [rightly or wrongly] at lower levels bias to internal promotion, then at, or close to let's call it head office [ie just below board] level a tendency to bring in external candidates with snazzy CV's [inc' my ex] who in turn have cultural difficulties with an organisation which has a political and social philosophy, as well as a desire to sell baked beans and funerals.

I suspect that part of the difficulty with the retail side also came down to a period a while ago where the big 4 supermarkets were expanding, but the co op still had a structure of regional societies, which were in turn separate from the supply arm of the co operative wholesale society. Effectively imagine a group of retailers with a national 'name' but no real national brand or consistency. A chain of shops run as if by local authorities or the post office, but where a shop in Newcastle would be completely different from one in Manchester.

There might be a further element - this is conjecture, that the decline of the co op parallels the decline in membership of other 'collectivist' organisations such as trades unions, but there's probably a PhD or two to be written on that line of enquiry.

Politically I have a great deal of sympathy with the Co op, but have always found the shops a bit second rate - they remind me of former state controlled shops in the former Eastern bloc which try hard but don't quite 'get it'. The Newgate street branch had pretty much everything I need [and some odd stuff which I don't] but if I am shopping in town I tend to hit Tesco. There's something slightly cold, slightly empty, slightly down at heel about the place.

FWIW I've wondered [especially based on their political philosophy; localism, environmentalism etc] why the co op doesn't much more actively purse a retail model like Tesco 'local'. Their TV adverts allude to it, but the infrastructure doesn't seem to be there.

It arguably became more of a working class institution [or rather the customer base certainly became fundamentally 'working class'] as it developed.

Essentially the Co op as we know it grew from a series of utterly chaotic regional societies and businesses [you ll see lots of older co op shops have obscure initials above the door relating to local societies which merged and merged again - even today there is an Allendale Co operative society which relates to the national co op but is wholly independent.

http://www.allendalecoop.co.uk/
 

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I don't mind the Co-Op, it serves its purpose well as a shop for essentials and basics, but i wouldn't dream of doing a weekly shop there, and for that reason i never once visited the newgate store. I think their branded products have improved 1000% in recent years; they've basically looked at what you can get in M&S and copied it, albeit at lower quality and cheaper, though the branding style is quite sleek. just wish they still had those "ambient" sausage rolls. :drool:

I've never had a problem with the customer service in the Winlaton branch. It is better in Scotland though, where it is branded as "Scotmid". I had a choice between a local sainsburys and a co-op - and 9 times out of 10 went to the co-op - had a nicer layout, better range of food and much more personable staff.
 

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Some more on the upcoming development here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...g-ready-for-its-new-beginning-72703-30038792/

The store is closing today.
Had to laugh at this part of the article - Shoppers flocked to get their groceries for one last time before the Newgate Street landmark is turned into a six-storey hotel, shops, restaurants and gym complex.

Read More http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/nort...s-new-beginning-72703-30038792/#ixzz1i7hlIUwo


flocked? :nuts:
 

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Newgate Street Co-Operative Store ( Now closed from 31/01/11) as at 01/01/12 AM

A few pictures taken by myself 01/01/12 approx 1140 ( hosted on Photobucket) of the now closed (awaiting development as hotel) Co-op department store

















Let us hope the building gets a decent future in its guise as a hotek without too much adornment - but being next to The Gate expect extereme lighting

KEN
 

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In its last days the Co-op had a very 'Bulgaria 1987' feel about it. I would pop in for a wander round the shelves, decreasing in number and variety daily, and feel sweetly melancholic.
 

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Urban Environmentalist
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If they grant any more licences in that part of town they should insist on drink only being sold with food. It's not like the patrons of Travelodge cant wander 2 mins in any direction to use an exisiting restaurant.
 

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If they grant any more licences in that part of town they should insist on drink only being sold with food. It's not like the patrons of Travelodge cant wander 2 mins in any direction to use an exisiting restaurant.
A bit of competition for the Dixy Chicken that is opening up over the road :)

Of course the Heritage, Design and Access Statement that accompanied the original planning Application did indicated the possibility of a restaurant as one of the units on the ground floor.
http://publicaccess.newcastle.gov.u...s.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=LP3I67BS05100
 

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Oh I absolutely think it should be a restaurant, but if something chainy, then perhaps something a bit more 'city-centre'...Jamie's Italian, or even something similar to the offerings in the Gate. Harvester just strikes me as a bit 'Sunday family food barn' for a city centre spot. Maybe it'll work well for shoppers over the road etc
 

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In its last days the Co-op had a very 'Bulgaria 1987' feel about it. I would pop in for a wander round the shelves, decreasing in number and variety daily, and feel sweetly melancholic.
Yes, very East German.

The Harvester means that Travelodge will have an on site restaurant without having to run it themselves.
 
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