‘Thank you’ to Central England Co-op customers for supporting face coverings roll-out this weekend

‘Thank you but keep on helping us keep our communities safe’ was the message from Central England Co-op after a successful first weekend of customers having to wear face coverings in its food stores.

The retailer, which has over 400 food stores and funeral homes across 16 counties, is delighted to report that it had no incidents of colleagues being confronted or challenged in relation to the new Government guidance of wearing a face covering when visiting one of its businesses.

All stores saw compliance levels by shoppers of upwards of 90 to 95%.

Colleagues from Central England Co-op have also been leading the way for their communities since last Monday by wearing a face covering or visor while at work to ensure everyone plays their part in staying safe and healthy.

Matt Simpson, Central England Co-op Store Manager, said: “We want to say a big thank you to our customers for working with us when it comes to keeping our colleagues, customers and communities safe by wearing a face covering.

“The feedback we have had has been brilliant and what is even better, at a time when we are campaigning for a zero tolerance approach to any kind of abuse towards colleagues, is that we have seen no confrontations or challenges related to this new rule.

“Thank you to all who have supported us this weekend but now please keep on helping us keep our communities safe by wearing a face covering as nothing is more important to us all at Central England Cooperative than the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.”

Some customers are rightly exempt from this request and exemptions can be found online at www.centralengland.coop

The new measures on wearing face coverings will sit alongside a range of others already in place at Central England Co-op sites, which have been very well received by customers.

These include:


On entering the shop:

  • Prominent markings installed outside stores so customers queuing to enter maintain safe distances of two-metres, as well as messages asking those customers who may have symptoms of Covid-19 not to enter the store.
  • Permanent hand sanitiser stations at the front of all stores and a one-way system in place permanently


Whilst shopping:

  • Specialist cleaning products are used to regularly wipe down the countertops and chip and pin machines, ATMs, baskets and trolleys
  • Clear markings installed throughout stores to communicate two-metre spacing. Customers are asked to maintain these distances while shopping and this is repeated frequently via in-store radio messaging


At point of payment:

  • Special markings installed to showcase two-metre safe distances while queueing
  • Team members are using every other till point or checkout to keep both customers and colleagues a safe distance apart
  • Special markings installed in front of till points and checkouts of at least one metre. If a customer needs to enter this area to place down a basket or use the keypad, colleagues move backwards to maintain a safe distance
  • Customers are asked to pay with card or contactless if possible
  • Over 1,000 plastic screens at till points and 7,000 face visors issued to staff.


People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates



Notes to editors


Picture caption: A Central England Co-op colleague wearing a face covering.


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, travel and property investment.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop