Co-op sheds 3,000 jobs and agency after non-food sale

Malcolm MacAulay, head of non-food retail operations and advertising for Co-operative Retail Services (CRS), is one of nearly 3,000 Co-op employees facing redundancy following the sale of the company’s non-food division.

J Walter Thompson Manchester, the agency which handles the CRS non-food account, worth 3.1m last year, will lose the business following the overhaul.

The sale of the CRS-owned chains Homeworld and Living for 150m to property developers follows a decision by the board to close down its non-food interests and concentrate on convenience stores and funerals.

Three marketing positions within non-food – advertising manager, marketing manager and marketing assistant – will also go in the shake-up which was announced this week.

CRS chairman, Peter Rowbotham, who appointed chief executive Andy Meehan to over-see a review of the business which led to the sale, has stepped down from his post following the announcement.

He says: “My decision draws a line under the recent upheavals.”

MacAulay, whose position is one of 2,984 jobs under threat at CRS, is joined by Brent Wilkinson, head of merchandising and buying, on the redundancy list. Together the two ran CRS’ non-food business, reporting direct to Meehan.

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