The Co-op is on its knees. It pays no dividend because it has lost its ethics

What a sad state the Co-op is in.

In recent years it has abandoned its core values. It went hell for broke for capitalist style banking and almost went broke. The stores it owns nationally, like that in Ludlow, are badly run and struggle to compete with efficient stores like Tesco and Aldi.

Now the Co-op’s group chief executive, Euan Sutherland has said that it can’t afford to pay a dividend.

That’s a kick in the teeth for people who have stuck with the Co-op, even though it no longer offers the best quality or value in a town like Ludlow.

Sutherland is outrageously encouraging people to spend more in the store though a discount scheme. If you spend £5 or more, you get a coupon worth 10% to spend by Christmas. If ever a scheme was designed to encourage people to spend beyond what they have, this is it. This is another sign that the Co-op has strayed from its ethical remit into the traditional supermarket territory of fleecing the poor.

I generally got around a tenner at Christmas from the Co-op. To get that this year, I will have to spend £100 before Christmas.

We’ve already paid a lot for money for our dividend. I object to being told to pay up twice for it.

The Co-op has lost its way. It should be cutting the pay of its bosses and returning to its core values, not refusing to reward its loyal customers.

I am seriously considering resigning my membership. But I don’t know if that is even possible.