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RetailCraft 24 – “Partners are a key part of our strategy” – Chris Conway of the Coop

Our first episode of 2021 continues our Grocery theme, with this in-depth and wide-ranging conversation with Chris Conway, eCommerce Director at the Coop.

We had recently interviewed Chris for our Grocery Innovation Report ( and couldn’t wait to bring his insights to life on the podcast. Sadly, the gremlins of the internet decided we’d had too easy a run over the last year and so it took several attempts, many disconnections, much patience and a fair wind to get this episode on ’tape’. Massive thanks to Chris for his humour and perseverance! Jamie and I were desperate to ensure that we (re)covered the same topics so that nothing was lost!

We hear about the Coop’s response to COVID and how their existing plans were accelerated by the pandemic. Chris paints a clear picture of the values at the centre of the business, as well as key behaviours like partnership, openness and flexibility that have created an opportunity for the Coop’s food business. Following on from our interview with Chris Poad of Tesco we can see that the Coop’s path started in a different place and follows a different trajectory – yet equally innovative and illustrating why the UK’s grocery sector is so varied and dynamic.

In conversation we cover their roll-out with Deliveroo and other local distribution partners, their blending working and hyper-local approach, the injunction from the CEO to be the “Transformer in Chief” and how partnership is a way of doing business.

Run time: 39 minutes


Chris Conway: 

Ian and

Jamie Merrick:

Recorded remotely and at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal (

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