Coop Norway has paid a record dividend to its members, of NOK 2.4 billion (€230 million), of which NOK 1.3 billion has been paid as purchase dividends.
The retailer's membership numbers swelled by 120,000 last year, to close to 1.9 million, with increasing numbers of younger consumers joining the group – some 38% of new owners are under 30 years old, and 60% are under 40 years old, it said.
Last year's dividend is approximately NOK 300 million higher than the previous year.
"Our co-owners are our best and most loyal customers, who have each contributed to us now paying a record purchase dividend for 2020," commented Geir Inge Stokke, chief executive of Coop Norge. :In addition, we have never had a higher amount of total savings from coupon discounts, values from membership bargains and other membership benefits. This is obviously attractive for more and more younger customers, who also diligently use our digital channels and innovative services."
More than 1.1 million members used the group's membership app in the past month, which enables users to pay for items as well as avail of membership benefits.
Among the purchase dividends available to members are discounts on fruit and vegetable and baby products at Coop Extra, as well as discounts on the group's popular Änglamark range. Members can also avail of discounts at partner retailers, such as Circle K.
Stoke said that the business was eager to increase the range of benefits available to members as a result of the changing circumstances due to COVID-19.
"When the coronavirus came ,and the country shut down in March last year, we had no idea what the time ahead would be like," he said. "It started with hoarding toilet paper and yeast in March, and continued with a record number of Norwegians renovating their houses and working in the garden. Increased trade in the stores benefits our co-owners, through the record-breaking purchase dividend."
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.