28 June 2017 - Janet Bird
Young people are responsible for a sign up surge which has seen The Co-Op's membership rise by 700,000 in the past 12 months, the mutually owned grocery retailer has revealed.
The Co-Op now has 13.6 million members in the UK after reintroducing their loyalty programme last year in an effort to entice customers back into its 7,000 UK stores.
The grocer's directors have attributed the success of the programme to a series of "political shocks" - from the Brexit vote to General Election results - which have hit UK consumer confidence and spending, while leading more and more shoppers to reach out for discounts.
Co-Op UK secretary-general Ed Mayo said the current economic uncertainties and upheaval of the past year had made people long for an economy "over which they have more say and from which they get a fair share".
Co-Op members receive a five percent reward on every own brand purchase, while an additional one percent goes to charity. As a mutually owned organisation, members also have a say in what the grocer does and how profits are used which, in uncertain times when so much seems out of control, has clearly proved an attractive prospect for many.