COOP Jednota Slovakia is a consumer cooperative consisting of 30 regional COOP Jednotas –including their members, 9 logistics centres and the COOP Jednota Foundation. Each regional COOP Jednota has its own membership base. The total number of ordinary members of the COOP Jednota group was 158,319 on 31 December 2015.
The main mission of COOP Jednota Slovakia is to ensure the social and economic prosperity of the cooperative and its members, namely by creating tools and adopting measures so that its members, the individual COOP Jednotas, can maintain their share of the market. In addition, COOP Jednota Slovakia protects the rights and interests of the members of the cooperative, representing them and promoting their interests within organs and institutions both in the Slovak Republic and abroad.
The fundamental strategic goals of COOP Jednota Slovakia and the COOP Jednota group are: to bring common procedures together under one roof and ensure uniformity for all members; to complete the logistics system; to integrate the purchase, distribution and selling of fruit and vegetables; to support sales of Slovak products; to synchronise information systems; to strengthen corporate identity in both the immediate and external environments.
The most highly recognised value within the COOP Jednota group as a whole is customer satisfaction, which we aim to achieve by having creative and happy employees and by having good relations with trade partners as well. COOP Jednota Slovakia is a signifi cant shareholder in COOP Euro, a. s., OPTIMA, a. s., Nitra, DRU, a. s., Zvolen, VIC, a. s. Mojmírovce, FROP, a. s., etc.
Performance and market position of COOP Jednota Group
The COOP Jednota Group – consumer cooperatives in Slovakia had a retail turnover of €1.253 billion in 2015, which represents growth of 2.1% on 2014. COOP Group logistics centres had a turnover of € 0.494 billion, a year-on-year increase of 0.4%.
Total retail and wholesale revenue for the COOP Jednota Group in 2015 was €1.538 billion, which is a rise of 1.7% on 2014.
The results for 2015 were in line with COOP Jednota Slovakia expectations since, despite the defl ationary economic trend, particularly in the grocery market, the consumer cooperatives and logistics centres improved both their overall performance on the previous year and the economic results of the group.
COOP Jednota Slovakia is the oldest retailer in Slovakia. The year 2015 was the 170th anniversary of the founding of the fi rst cooperative in Slovakia by Samuel Jurkovič, and in 1869 Samuel Ormis set up the fi rst Grocery Association in Revúca – the precursor to the retail cooperative. Since then it has operated continuously undergoing many changes to emerge as the traditional present-day retailer – COOP Jednota. COOP Jednota is currently not only wellknown in the cooperative trade but is also an important and essential player on the domestic market, particularly the grocery market, in which it holds the position of long-standing leader, despite the fi erce competition between domestic and international retail chains. Its stores, of varying formats, are to be found in almost every town or village, and with a network of 2,225 stores it is the most widespread retail chain in Slovakia. It is supplied by 9 logistics centres, most of which have complete functionality. The consumer cooperatives and the logistics centres together employ more than 14 thousand staff members making it the second largest employer in Slovakia. One should not overlook the fact that COOP Jednota is not only the largest grocers on the domestic market but is also the biggest supporter of local products. Almost 74 percent of the goods found on its shelves are produced in Slovakia, so COOP Jednota is a major contributor to regional development and the Slovak economy.
170 years of the cooperative movement in Slovakia
The ninth of February marked 170 years since the fi rst cooperative on the European continent was set up by local school teacher Samuel Jurkovič in Sobotište. Offi cially the fi rst cooperative to be established in the world is considered to have been the weavers’ cooperative founded in Rochdale, Great Britain, in December 1844, not quite three weeks before Samuel Jurkovič set up his cooperative in 1845 in Slovakia – the Farmers’ Association. It was the world’s fi rst credit cooperative and the fi rst mutual based on cooperative principles on the European continent.
In special celebration of this important event the Cooperative Union of the Slovak Republic organised a conference in Bratislava on 14 May 2015 called Samuel Jurkovič – 170 years of the cooperative movement in Slovakia. The aim of the conference was to commemorate the founding of the fi rst cooperative in Slovakia and to refl ect upon its importance in that era and to highlight the importance and current state of the cooperative movement today.
These days there are four kinds of cooperatives in Slovakia: consumer, manufacturing, agricultural and housing cooperatives. One might even say that the cooperative was ahead of its time. The idea of socially responsible businesses is very popular today and yet cooperatives have long put this idea into practice without having to resort to theory. The long-term realisation of this idea has shown that even in hard times, beset by economic crisis, cooperatives have successfully pursued their mission and retained their essence. This is the nicest and most valuable legacy of the founder of the Cooperative Movement in Slovakia, Samuel Jurkovič. For 170 years now cooperatives have succeeded in fulfi lling and developing this initial idea.
Supporting Slovak products and the Slovak economy at COOP Jednota
As the largest domestic grocery retailer, COOP Jednota’s main priority and strategic aim is to support the sale of goods produced by regional and Slovak producers. The fact that COOP Jednota stocks the largest share – 74% – of Slovak products of all the retail chains in Slovakia is testimony to its success in achieving this goal. In 2015 COOP Jednota engaged in two campaigns, Protecting Slovak Milk and Slovak Dairy Family. These were designed to put pressure on the public and on retail chains to give greater space to Slovak dairy products and encourage their consumption. Other projects launched in support of Slovak grocery sales that COOP Jednota Slovakia was involved in were SK Mark of Quality and the SK Gold Mark of Quality, organised by the Slovak Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Consumers and consumer habits have undergone great change since 2009 when the crisis hit fully. They have gradually become more aware and choose quality even at a higher price. Quality is seen as guarantee of safety.
COOP Jednota is a Slovak retail chain with a total of 2,225 stores and is the largest retail chain in Slovakia. The total number of COOP Jednota stores includes 2,193 that can be categorised within the following three retail formats:
Potraviny, Supermarket and Tempo Supermarket. The Potraviny COOP Jednota chain has 1,755 stores. This format includes stores of up to 200 m2. In these stores shoppers have the convenience of shopping within a smaller floor space. The stores are generally found in rural areas, smaller towns and in the suburbs. Customers can buy fresh everyday shopping essentials as well as their favourite COOP Jednota private label products.
At the end of 2015 the Supermarket chain had 419 stores of between 200 m2 to 1,000 m2. Supermarket stores provide their customers with a wide range of groceries, including COOP Jednota private label and branded goods in addition to non-grocery products and toiletries. COOP Jednota operates 19 stores bearing the Tempo Supermarket logo. Tempo Supermarket stores are over 1,000 m2 in size and are the largest in the COOP Jednota retail chain. Tempo Supermarket stores aim to satisfy even the most demanding of customers, off ering them a wide range of fresh produce, COOP Jednota private label and branded goods as well as toiletries and non-grocery products. In 2015 COOP Jednota Group opened 23 new stores, and 53 existing stores underwent substantial renovation and modernisation and were subsequently recategorised in the largest retail format. A further 33 stores underwent light renovation.
COOP Jednota Slovakia contains a network of 9 logistics centres. In 2015 COOP Jednota Group developed a number of modernisation and functionality-enhancing projects to improve the services provided by COOP Jednota and its stores. There are 9 companies in the COOP Jednota Group logistics chain. COOP Jednota Group logistics centres had a turnover of €0.494 billion, which is a year-on-year increase of 0.4%.
Marketing, competitions and campaigns
In 2015 our tried and tested, and ever popular PR strategy of Bača a honelník [The Shepherd and the Shepherd Boy] remained at the core of all COOP Jednota Slovakia marketing. Elements of this PR strategy were also used in-store across the various formats creating better synergy with point of sales and this is refl ected in the retail results. The success of the strategy is evident in surveys indicating that over a longer period COOP Jednota advertising and campaigns has ranked fi rst in top-of-mind awareness.
In 2015 marketing was conducted in relation to image campaigns, product campaigns, consumer competitions and loyalty events.
Online marketing tools form an essential part of the campaigns run by COOP Jednota. The main online PR device is COOP Jednota’s Fun page on Facebook, which in 2015 had more than 55,000 fans. Our newsletter is another important component sent out to more than 45,000 registered recipients updating them on the latest COOP Jednota news.
In 2015 the COOP Jednota private label celebrated its 16th birthday. This established private label is where it is today thanks to our consumers – and their requests and expectations – and also to the hard amount of work expended over the years by the team of people who have used their experience, knowledge and skills to push the COOP Jednota private label to achieve an increasingly higher level, quality and quantity. In 2015 private label sales accounted for more than 18% of total retail turnover.
At the end of 2015 there were 3 main private level categories Dobrá cena [Good Price], Tradičná kvalita [Traditional Quality] and Premium, containing 751 products. The Tradičná kvalita category contains sub-brands – groups of products targeted at particular consumer groups, for example Mamičkine dobroty [Mum’s Delicacies], Junior, Active life, Domácnosť [Household], Bio [Organic].
All COOP Jednota private label products underwent regular quality controls in 2015, in total around 2,000 were performed. This indicates just how much we care about the safety and quality of grocery products.
Shoppers in COOP Jednota stores can take advantage of the rich array of goods and the wide range of additional services, such as card payments, the coopkasa service – paying ordinary bills while purchasing shopping at the checkout – mobile top ups, loyalty card reductions and CashBack. COOP Jednota Group is busy preparing for the launch of a new additional customer service – payment by electronic lunch vouchers.
New technologies in COOP Jednota stores
► Electronic price-tagging
The roll-out of electronic price-tagging in COOP Jednota stores continued in 2015. Electronic price-tagging was first introduced into the COOP Jednota network in 2013 and since then it has been rolled out in 13 stores, chiefly Tempo Supermarket stores. The graphic display improves the appearance of stores and most importantly reduces pricing errors and staff workload. It is also environmentally friendly since it keeps the use of paper and toner to a minimum.
► LED TV price-listing
The year 2015 was also saw the COOP Jednota Group successfully introduce its the new technology of LED pricelisting in 306 stores. The LED price-listing found in the fruit and vegetable departments consists of LED television screens that display the main fruit and vegetable discounts on the shop fl oor. Shop staff can alter the prices from any single point in the store, which helps improve customer service not only because of the attractive price-tags but also by freeing up staff responsible for the range and quality of fruit and vegetables and customer care.
► Self-service checkouts
Slovak shoppers are becoming accustomed to self-service checkouts and developments abroad indicate that this trend will continue. By the end of 2015 the COOP Jednota chain had installed self-service checkouts in three stores. These checkouts speed up the shopping process and improve performance in the checkout area.
► Mobile shopping
In 2015 the COOP Jednota group was the fi rst retail chain in Slovakia to introduce mobile shopping in its COOP Jednota Nové Zámky stores. When shopping in one of the 114 stores run by this COOP Jednota, customers can make use of a mobile application called COOP–Shopping which can be downloaded onto smartphones and tablets for free. The application enables the customer to scan products in their shopping basket and purchase up to 5 products from the full range.
For the last 11 years the main component in the COOP Jednota Group loyalty programme has been the COOP Jednota Shopping Card. Coop Jednota launched a new development for loyalty card holders from the beginning of 2015 when it began paying out discounts twice annually. Loyal customers are the best form of advertising there is for stores and staff alike and we are pleased to see that the COOP Jednota Shopping Card is still extremely popular. Proof of this is found in the fact that on 31 December 2015 our database indicated that there were 1,078,463 loyalty cards. The proportion of shopping purchased using a loyalty card in 2015 accounted for 58.5% of total turnover and compared to 2014 this was an increase of 1.6%. COOP Jednota paid out €8,388,295 in discounts to customers who purchased shopping using their loyalty card in 2015. This was €474,006 more than in 2014.
In 2015 marketing aimed at COOP cardholders was extended. COOP Jednota Slovakia continued to run its existing Special Off er for Loyalty Cardholders Only, and in collaboration with its suppliers it expanded the portfolio of discounted products to include popular private label products as part of its Even Cheaper with your Card promotion. Loyalty cardholders can also take advantage of fi nancial benefi ts off ered by COOP Jednota Slovakia’s contractual partners: Tatra Tour Slovakia travel agency, TIP travel, CK Bubo, CK Firo-tour, Aquacity Poprad, Tempo Kondela furniture and Piešťany and Smrdáky Spas.
Over the last twelve years Jednota has transformed itself from a general magazine to a customer-focused publication. The magazine’s goal to be adviser and partner to customers on issues relating to groceries, shopping, eating and healthy lifestyles is based on COOP Jednota’s aim to become the largest Slovak grocery retailer.
The main goal of this 32-page monthly coloured magazine is to communicate COOP Jednota Slovakia’s mission and strengthen ties between the customer and shopping chain. The magazine seeks to promote COOP Jednota as the Slovak chain with the largest number of Slovak products and as a modern trusted retail group and provide information on the latest developments in the Group, including marketing and charitable activities. Jednota magazine reaches its readers by the most direct and natural route – as a courtesy gift to those who shop at COOP Jednota stores.
COOP Jednota Slovakia works with Envi-Pak, a.s. to meet its recycling targets and is authorised to use the Green Dot symbol. The environmental awareness of COOP Jednota Group customers grows every year. They brought more than 12.2 tonnes of used batteries and around 1.6 tonnes of lightbulbs to the in-store collection points.
The regional COOP Jednotas also helped protect the environment by investing in new technologies and energy saving equipment for their stores. In 2015 COOP Jednotas continued to introduce electronic price-tagging into their stores. These price-tags reduce the use of paper and printer toner, which fall into the dangerous waste category. The installation of a new kind of LED lighting was another way in which the COOP Jednota Group protected natural resources.
We attempt to educate COOP Jednota customers on protecting the environment by providing oxo-biodegradable shopping bags, paper bags and long-life jute bags. In 2015 COOP Jednota launched a new kind of shopping bag – compact fold-up shopping bags that once unpacked can be stored easily in a handbag or pocket.
As on 31 Dec 2015 COOP Jednota Slovakia, consumer cooperative, employed a total staff , 81.53% of whom were women. The COOP Jednota Group – consumer cooperatives and logistics centres – had a total of 14,115 employees at the end of 2015, making COOP Jednota the second largest employer in Slovakia. Its stores employed 10,296 staff members, and around 85% of all staff were women. Our strategy for managing and developing human resources is based on the close implementation of equal opportunities.
Staff training and development at all levels is a key component of COOP Jednota’s system of human resources management. In 2015 training and development was aimed at improving the quality of end-customer sales and services provided by store staff . It also focused on eff ective management, managerial skills and team work as well as talent training and development.
COOP Jednota Slovakia is responsible for training COOP Jednota Group staff and invested €297,000 in staff training and development in 2015. More than 2,100 employees in executive and managerial positions underwent training modules.
Code of conduct
The code of conduct is one of the COOP Jednota Group’s key documents that sets out the rules of conduct for internal and external relations for staff , functionaries, bodies and the consumer cooperatives contained within the COOP Jednota Group. It stipulates the ethical values that COOP Jednota subscribes to and is committed to upholding. Each consumer cooperative has a dedicated adviser responsible for resolving ethical and conduct issues arising in relation to the code. COOP Jednota strives to improve customer confi dence by upholding the code of conduct and building good relations among its staff and between consumer cooperatives.
Helping others, improving the lives of the weak and sick, children, people in need as well as supporting culture and sport is all part of COOP Jednota Slovakia’s tradition, whether that is achieved through the COOP Jednota Foundation or by directly supporting projects and public events. The fi nancial resources the foundation receives from its donors and individuals are distributed in line with the foundation programme and decisions taken by the Foundation Board.
In its 14 years of existence the foundation has supported hospitals, families with disabled or sick children, families aff ected by natural disasters and many other projects to the tune of more than €3.5 million. One million euros of this was spent on medical equipment and facilities for 137 hospitals. Assistance worth more than €382 thousand was provided for families with disabled or sick children and families aff ected by natural disasters. Our Don’t Leave Them Hanging Around project has run for 11 years now and has received more than €436 thousand in support of 257 reputable projects. The Jednota for School Kids project which includes the Jednota Football Cup for primary school pupils has received more than €1.7 million since it was launched.
In 2015 the foundation provided funding of €77,960.21 for healthcare and humanitarian assistance. In its 13th year the Jednota for School Kids was allocated €186,700 in funding. Don’t Leave Them Hanging Around is now in its 11th year and 28 projects were awarded €40,664 in support.
In 2015, as in previous years, COOP Jednota Slovakia actively engaged in public life both directly and by participating in numerous fund-raising activities, important events, exhibitions, conferences and benefi t concerts.
Awards and victories achieved by COOP Jednota in 2015
► Campaign of the month – on several occasions in 2015 COOP Jednota received recognition for its creative campaigns
► Slovak marketing in 2014/15 – COOP Jednota Slovakia received the greatest number of nominations for the category of Business project
► Superbrands – the 2015 Superbrands awards valid throughout 2016 was awarded by the expert Slovak Superbrands panel to the COOP Jednota brand for the third time round
► TOP company for young people in Slovakia in 2015 – Junior Chamber International award for second place in the Retail Chain – Grocery Products category
► Múza Merkúra 2014 – award for creativity in business
► Prima Zlatá Pecka 2015 – Association of Czech Advertising Agencies and Marketing award for the COOP Jednota Wheel Crazy TV advert
Goals for 2016
► To strengthen the position and perceptions of the COOP Jednota chain as leader in the groceries market and in selling Slovak groceries
► To ensure growth in the retail turnover of COOP Jednotas and improve the overall performance of the COOP Jednota Group
► To modernise and develop the COOP Jednota network by opening new stores, renovating existing ones, using new technologies at point of sale
► To optimise the range of goods sold in relation to store size and making use of internal data particularly for the management of fresh produce
► To build on and foster existing customer loyalty
► To prepare marketing and PR for the COOP Jednota Group, primarily targeting the younger generation
► To provide COOP Jednota Group staff training in line with established goals and the training strategy, to improve satisfaction and motivation
► To fi nish implementing ongoing projects, consolidate COOP Jednota business and support processes and shift to a higher level in data-processing to achieve greater fi nancial effi ciencies
► To expand the functionality of existing logistics centres
► To prepare the COOP Jednota Group Development Strategy for 2017 – 2021