Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Sale of Great Harwood Co-op Store to a 'major supermarket retailer?

It would appear the Co-op store in Great Harwood has been sold to 'major supermarket retailer'. I must confess as co-operative member myself I do not know the history of this store but it's closure, if true is disapointing.

Staff have already been informed of the changes.

Mutuals and co-operatives are becoming fashionable again as politicians attempt to grapple with the economic challenges and the suspicion and doubt that hangs over big business and corporations.

The apparent reason being given for the sale of the store is the Co-op’s perceived inability to compete with the proposed Tesco store planned to be built in Great Harwood, yet the Oswaldtwistle store seems to be able to survive quite well with a nearby Tesco competitor. Apparently it would seem that the Great Harwood store has been sold as a ‘going concern’ in order to realise a higher market value.

There has been little or no consultation with members locally which is disapointing as many co-operative members locally have actively supported the wider co-op movement, projects, campaigns and businesses.

If Great Harwood Co-op store is uneconomical then members do have a right to know. Most particular if it is in fact being sold as a going concern to a rival supermarket retailer who can make it a success.

Should the decision already have been taken to sell the store then I think it is reasonable that the Co-operative movement puts some of a multi-million £ sale back into the local community.

If the sale went ahead without any of the members being consulted it runs completely against how the co-op is designed to function. Probably why there appears to be quite a lot of anger over this sale.

There is a meeting next Thursday (19th Aug) to discuss this with the members and staff etc. It is important that information is provided as to the future of the site and the co-op as a retailer in this area.