Co-op creates specialist retail brands role

Co-operative Group has promoted Travelcare general manager Yvonne Rankin to the new role of chief general manager for specialist retail brands.

Rankin will be responsible for marketing the Co-op’s three specialist retail businesses, Travelcare, funeral operations and the Eyecare optical chain.

She joined the company in 1996 as national sales and marketing manager of the travel operation, and took over as general manager two years later. She oversaw the relaunch of the Co-op’s travel operation as Travelcare last August. The Co-op claims sales have grown 30 per cent year-on-year since then.

The Co-op launched its new brand positioning as part of a £20m, three-year investment programme in the specialist retail businesses, focusing on its stance of fair-trading.

In 1998 the travel arm launched the Traveller’s Right to Know service, a charter to ensure customers get a fair deal on travel.

Rankin retains responsibility for the newly-established commercial division’s marketing team. She aims to develop branding common to each specialist retail arm.

She will report to Joe Beardwood, controller of the Co-operative Group’s commercial division.

Beardwood says: “Rankin will bring her considerable experience in building a strong retail brand, based on Co-operative values, to these other important areas of our business.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here