Lichfield retailer celebrates double nomination at the grocery sector’s version of the Oscars

Posted by james brindle | Published: 05/08/2021

Lichfield-based Central England Co-op has been shortlisted in two categories at the grocery sector’s most high-profile awards night – including one nod for its flagship £3 million Boley Park food store.

The Society has been named a finalist in two categories at the 2021 Grocer Gold Awards, the blue riband event to recognise achievement in the grocery sector.  

The project to transform its Boley Park store in Lichfield, which reopened last year, has been shortlisted in the Consumer Initiative of the Year category, while its campaign to highlight the issue of retail violence and call for a change in the law to protect shopworkers has been shortlisted for the Business Initiative of the Year.

Jamie Joyce, Store Manager at Boley Park, said: “All of the team at Boley Park are so proud of our new store and the reaction we have had from our customers and members has been overwhelmingly positive since we opened last November.

“We are continuing to evolve the development with new features and additions such as the Insomnia Coffee Shop which opened in April to further enhance what we can offer our community.

“To see the project recognised at such a prestigious awards ceremony is a real boost for the team and reward for all the hard work that went into bringing it to life.”

The award-nominated Boley Park store has a range of exciting new features debuted by the retailer for the first time ever in its business

This includes a special zero waste refill station that allows shoppers to only buy what they need and cut down on food packaging and waste, and eco-friendly fridges that reduce carbon footprint by 60%.

The major project has also seen a brand-new petrol station opened on the site as well as a redesigned car park including wider spaces, better traffic flow and improved lighting and walkways, new trees and planters, a new car wash, electric charging points for cars and a bike repair station.

Meanwhile Central England Co-op’s anti-violence campaign – nominated for the Business Initiative of the Year – has seen the retailer look to tackle an increase in violent incidents in its food stores to push the issue to the front of the agenda and help protect its colleagues.

It has proactively highlighted incidents, introduced a range of new safety measures and lobbied the Government to do more to protect retail colleagues and provide a greater deterrent to would-be criminals.

The winners of the awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony on Tuesday 5 October at the Guildhall in London.


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

Central England Co-op was named Leading Co-op of the Year by Co-operatives UK in 2021.

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