Wolff OIins unifies co-operative brands

The UK’s biggest independent co-operative society, which operates more than 700 outlets in the form of retail chains, undertakers and property services, is bringing all its brands under one marque and revamping the interiors of 214 stores. Interior and branding work is by Wolff Olins.

In a move to transform itself into a leading retailer, Co-operative Retail Services is adopting a new-look rainbow and four-colour square identity.

The CRS’s supermarkets and superstores currently operate under the Pioneer, Leos, Lo-cost and Stop & Shop identities. The society is believed to be considering extending the new branding on to products. The changes will work alongside the society’s existing Towards 2000 initiative, which aims to prepare the society for the next century.

“Many commentators over the years have argued that co-operative retailing had lost its way and was in danger of becoming a piece of social history,” says CRS chief executive Harry Moore.

“The most significant thing we’ve done is reclaim the word co-operative and make it live,” says Wolff Olins creative director Doug Hamilton.

CRS is also the UK’s fifth biggest department store retailer, with more than 40 Homeworld and Living stores. Wolff Olins’ interiors work is likely to be applied to these businesses.

The new look will roll out from July, coinciding with the society’s move to new headquarters, also designed by Wolff Olins, at Sandbrook Park in Rochdale.

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