Co-op link up with Amazon doesn’t look of mutual benefit


o-op Group, the cuddly mutual founded in Rochdale 177 years ago, has today signed a deal with Amazon to deliver its groceries.

This is a “good joining of bedfellows” according to the Co-op, which is so excited about the commercial possibilities of this tie-up that it refuses to explain what they are.

On a £50 order what profit might the Co-op make? It’d rather not say.

In other news: seals today signed a pact with Great White Sharks, and look forward to a fairer, more balanced working relationship in the future.

They say the sharks have lately made great strides in becoming more responsible members of the community and hope they will continue to engage with the seal population in an ethical, progressive manner.

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Approached for comment, the sharks were laughing too hard to respond.

Back at the Co-op, chief seal Steve Murrells sees the Amazon deal as a way to get wider distribution of its own products.

Well, best of luck.

But it seems equally likely that the hardcore Co-op customer – the person who goes to its stores specifically because it isn’t Tesco or Amazon finds this tie-up a complete turn off.

The point about mutual organisations such as the Co-op or Nationwide Building Society is that they don’t have to get bigger.

They are supposed to operate as a permanent counter to giant corporations which need to grow or die.

They can observe trends from the safety of the beach and ignore them if they wish. Their main job is just to survive in perpetuity, a reminder to all of us that there is another way to do business beyond corporations.

Steve Murrells is off to sea. He may need a bigger boat.