Template:Infobox Company Template:Distinguish The East of England Co-operative Society Limited is the third largest consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom. Headquartered in Ipswich and trading in the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, the Society is the area's largest independent retailer. Membership is open to all residents of the Society's trading area.


The East of England Co-operative Society is an amalgamation of smaller Co-ops from across East Anglia which have joined together over the years. Most recently, the Colchester and East Essex Co-operative Society merged with the Ipswich and Norwich Co-operative Society on 30 October 2005.

The consumer co-operative movement has its roots in the early part of the nineteenth century and the principles of self-help and social equity that developed during the Victorian era. The first successful retail co-operative was established in 1844 by the Rochdale Pioneers.Template:Dubious


<span id="Former societies" />

  • The Ipswich & Norwich Society was an amalgam of the Ipswich Industrial Co-operative Society (founded 1868) and the Norwich Co-operative Society (founded 1858).[1]
  • The Colchester & East Essex Co-operative Society was founded as Colchester Co-operative Society by a small group of Colchester citizens in 1861. [2]

Ethical PrinciplesEdit

The society declares its founding traditions to be self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. It supports the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility, and caring for others. The society puts its values into practice through voluntary and open membership, democratic member control, member economic partnership, autonomy and independence, education, co-operations, and concern for the community.[3]

Trading ActivitiesEdit

The society operates central department stores, neighbourhood grocery stores, pharmacies, opticians, jewellery stores and a funeral services department. The society used to also run a dairy with doorstep deliveries but this was sold to Dairy Crest in early 2008. It is a corporate member of the Co-operative Group, sourcing its food through the national buying programme, the Co-operative Retail Trading Group.[4]


Membership is open to all residents of the society's trading area. In 2005 the society paid its members a dividend (the "divi") of £1.7 million, representing 20% of disposable profit. [5]


  2. [1] Template:Dead link
  3. [2] Template:Dead link
  4. East of England Co-op
  5. [3] Template:Dead link

External linksEdit

Template:UK consumer co-ops

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