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Co-operative to extend multichannel trial

The Co-operative Group says its ecommerce arm is prospering, and has unveiled plans to extend a multichannel trial that sees its electrical goods promoted in in-store pods in its food stores.

The Cooperative Group is stepping up its multichannel offer by taking its E-Store online electrical goods business further into its high street food stores.

The company this week unveiled its full-year results. Overall sales grew by 9.1% to £13.7bn in 2010 while underlying operating profit rose by 31.4% to £624.8m. But the company also reported significant growth in its E-Store online electrical store, with revenue growing by 11.5% to £87.9m in 2010. Operating profit increased to £2.1m.

The group now plans to extend a project that has to date seen electrical ‘pods’ installed in six high street stores. As well as offering electrical goods from Co-Operative Electrical, they also offer electronic in-store catalogues, with 2,000 further products available for immediate delivery or instore collection. They range from laptops and washing machines to iPods and vacuum cleaners.

Co-operative Electrical says it now plans to develop the pod concept further throughout its food stores across the UK.

James Holland, managing director of The Co-operative Electrical, said: “The Co-operative has many years’ experience of trading in the electrical sector with our online electrical service, and we believe that this is another example of the strength of The Co-operative family of businesses.

“The in-store electrical pilots within our food stores are performing well. They add real value and offer a great choice to our customers.”

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