First rosters for Co-Op planned

Co-Operative Retail Services has launched a full review of its design requirements prior to making its first design rosters.

CRS design manager Christine Evans, who joined late last year from Sainsbury’s, plans to establish separate rosters for packaging and store design. Evans was appointed to address branding issues at CRS. “We are looking to increase consistency,” she says.

The retailer, which has more than 300 food stores, plans to launch its first full range of own-brand products. Around 2000 lines are due to be launched each year for the foreseeable future.

Store facias and interiors will also be addressed, with the twin projects given equal priority. Food is one of the most competitive sectors of the retail industry, and rivals such as Sainsbury’s and Tesco have been increasing their market shares. Evans says CRS aims to differentiate its offer.

CRS has previously worked with local Lancashire consultancy Barrington Johnson Lorains on packaging. But it recently turned to Quite Extraordinary Design in London, which has completed initial template designs for Co-Operative-branded ranges. These were awaiting CRS approval as Design Week went to press. A “small roster” of packaging designers will be selected for future projects, says Evans.

There will be a second roster for store design projects. “We will be taking a holistic approach,” says Evans. A five-strong team of designers is to be recruited to the CRS office in Rochdale to implement store and packaging design, but all creative work will be outsourced, she adds.

Wolff Olins’ corporate identity for CRS, launched in May 1996, has been tweaked in-house to aid implementation, says Evans.

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