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United Co-operatives, or simply United Co-op, was the largest regional consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom until its merger with The Co-operative Group in 2007. The Society operated across Yorkshire, the north west and north Midlands of England. It came about from the merger of United Co-op (formerly United NorWest) and Yorkshire Co-operatives in September 2002.

United Norwest, in turn, arose from the Norwest Pioneers, which had the Rochdale Pioneers as a direct predecessor. Rochdale Pioneers was the prototypical consumer co-operative, formed in 1844.[1][2]

The key businesses of the Society were food retailing, travel retail, car dealerships (Sunwin Motor Group), pharmacies and funerals. The under-performing non-food department stores, most of which were inherited via Yorkshire Co-operatives, were closed or sold-off. The former Normid chain of superstores was owned by the society.

United's pharmacies and food stores had a distinct logo that was not to be confused with The Co-operative Group's own chain of pharmacies and food stores which adopt a slightly different logo and fasciaTemplate:Fact. However, post-merger former United sites will adopt the new branding.

In late 2006, members voted for a merger with the smaller Sheffield Co-operative Society, giving United a greater presence in South Yorkshire. On December 11 2006, members voted for a merger with Leeds Co-operative, which has similar statistics to Sheffield Co-op, this was confirmed with a second vote in January 2007. [3]

At the end of 2006, the boards of United and the larger Co-operative Group announced that they were having initial talks regarding a merger between them, the UK's two largest co-operative societies. This merger was agreed in early 2007 and the two completed the merger on the 29 July 2007, at which point United Co-operatives ceased to exist as an independent Society.


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External linksEdit

Template:Defunct UK grocersTemplate:Retail-stub

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