CWS Retail is reviewing the design roster for its Co-op chain of supermarkets – the UK’s fifth largest food retailer.
A CWS spokeswoman claims the roster is complete and confirms that client advisory agency EDR has been handling the project. The spokeswoman declines to name groups on the roster or give further details.
But a source claims a shortlist has yet to be drawn up and “it could be weeks before the complete roster is finalised”.
The chain has had an “informal” roster in the past, but the new roster will be limited to six design, artwork and repro consultancies, according to the source.
The bulk of groups on the new roster will be “almost exclusively northern”, adds the source. CWS’s head office is in Manchester.
Aaron Associates, which bought CWS’s sizeable in-house design department in January 1995, has been carrying out much of the chain’s packaging design work since then. Consultancy managing director Brian Fox says he is unsure whether his group will lose work through the establishment of the roster.
“The CWS has always had a roster and until it tells us of a more formal roster, we don’t know what effect this will have on our work together,” he adds.