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Co-op gives NHS workers 10% discount and priority access to stores

A clear plastic protective screen divides employees and customers in store at a Co-op shop in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. (Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)

Central England Co-op is giving NHS staff a 10% discount and priority access to all stores in recognition of their work on the frontline of the battle against the spread of the coronavirus.

NHS workers will be able to show their ID card when visiting any of the retailer’s 242 food stores to receive 10% off all food and other essentials and to jump to the front of any queues outside stores when waiting to enter.

All Co-op stores already have a dedicated shopping hour for NHS workers, vulnerable customers and those that care for them.

The move comes after the Co-op announced a range of measures to support and say ‘thank you’ to its 7,900 workers for remaining at work to serve the public and keep community stores open.

The retailer cut its opening hours to give staff more time for cleaning and restocking shelves with food and essentials, as well as allowing staff more time at home to rest and recuperate.

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Co-op employees will also receive their annual bonus early as Central England Co-op has brought forward its annual share of profits, as well as increasing its staff discount.

In order to encourage social distancing Co-op is limiting the number of customers in stores at any one time and marking a one metre distance with tape in front till points for customers to stand behind, and two metre spacing on the floor to guide customer queues.

Plastic screens are also being installed at all till points as part of continued efforts to help protect workers and customers from the spread of coronavirus. 

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “Our NHS workers are playing a vital role at this uncertain time and that’s why we wanted to do something to say thank you for their incredible efforts.

“Frontline workers, similar to our own colleagues in our stores and funeral homes, are essential to ensuring communities continue to be helped and supported and we cannot thank them enough for their efforts.”