Co-operatives in the Retail Sector: Can One Label Fit All?



Calderwood E & Davies K (2013) Co-operatives in the Retail Sector: Can One Label Fit All?. Journal of Co-operative Studies, 46 (1), pp. 16-31.

Studies of the development and strategic approaches of co-operative retailers have tended to focus on the tension between management styles, given labels such as ‘traders' and ‘idealists,' and the ways in which co-operatives then deal with their members. Most issue a general call for the greater integration of co-operative values and principles into strategic behaviour. However, these approaches often overlook the variety of organisational forms adopted by co-operative retailers and the effect that these have on their operations and their focus on co-operative principles. Thus, the needs and expectations of members will vary significantly between consumer co-operatives, worker co-operatives and retailer-sponsored co-operatives. Large co-operative retailers also have to deal with the expectations of non-members who will make up a major proportion of their customer base. To provide a basis for the discussion of different strategies in the retail sector, a typology of co‑operative retail forms is proposed.

retailing; co-operatives; big middle model; Producer cooperatives ; Consumer cooperatives ; Retail trade

Journal of Co-operative Studies: Volume 46, Issue 1

Publication date15/10/2013
PublisherUK Society for Co-operative Studies (via Ingenta)
Publisher URL…odDavies-137.pdf

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Dr Keri Davies

Dr Keri Davies

Senior Lecturer, Marketing & Retail