COOP Jednota Slovakia is a consumer cooperative consisting of 30 regional COOP Jednotas – including their members, 10 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 128,099 on 31 December 2018.
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 integrate the purchase, distribution and selling of fruit and vegetables; to support sales of Slovak products; to extend the functionality in logistics centres; 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 significant shareholder in COOP Euro, a. s., OPTIMA, a. s., Nitra, DRU, a. s., Zvolen, VIC, a. s. Mojmírovce, FROP, a. s., etc.
150 YEARS OF CONSUMER COOPERATIVES IN SLOVAKIA
Since they were first founded, consumer cooperatives have played an important role in Slovakia’s national economy. They survived the two world wars and the economic crisis and were not even destroyed by the various political regimes. Over the years they have diversified and today COOP Jednota contains around thirty of them. In 2019 COOP Jednota is celebrating an important anniversary – 150 years of consumer cooperatives in Slovakia.
The first Groceries Alliance, the predecessor of the retail cooperative, was founded by Samuel Ormis in 1869 in Revúca. His aim was to ensure that its members had access to reasonably priced groceries.
Cooperatives experienced their biggest growth period in 1945–1948, an era when there were around 3,000 cooperatives in Slovakia with a total of 800,000 members. In 1950 Jednota consumer cooperatives began emerging in rural areas. In 1968 the Slovak Union of Consumer Cooperatives, its managing body, was established and cooperatives began appearing in urban areas as well. In addition to convenience shops and self-service stores, Jednota consumer cooperatives operated shopping centres, restaurants, food and drink facilities, accommodation services, and engaged in food processing, the purchase of agricultural products, wholesale retail and so on.
At the beginning of the 1990s, the cooperatives underwent a transformation and the retail network was consolidated. Its range of activities was streamlined and the number of operating units fell – from 12,000 stores in 1989 to 2,240 in 1999.
In 2002 COOP Jednota Slovakia, consumer cooperatives, was founded,
following the merger of the Slovak Union of Consumer Cooperatives and COOP
Centrum, a.s., a retail company. Despite the ups and downs the consumer
cooperatives have had to face over the years, they have become a firm part
of Slovak economic life. The basic principles of cooperative trade, a
social conscience, volunteerism, reciprocity and good business conditions
are still promoted today.
PERFORMANCE AND MARKET POSITION OF THE COOP JEDNOTA GROUP
COOP Jednota–consumer retail cooperatives achieved a retail turnover of €1.368 billion in 2018, which is an increase of 3.55% on 2017.
COOP Jednota sales and private label revenue was €1,143 billion, year-on-year growth of 3.55%.
COOP Jednota Group logistics centres had a total revenue of €0.550 billion, representing growth of 2.89% on 2017.
Total retail and wholesale revenue for the COOP Jednota Group in 2018 was €1.693 billion, an increase of 3.36% compared with 2017.
The year 2018 saw the continuation of the battle for a share of the Slovak grocery retail market. While the COOP Jednota group maintained its position in terms of revenue, mainly thanks to its rural and small town network, the COOP Jednota system has to focus on increasing the return on sales. This is essential to creating the resources and thereby scope for developing the network and wage growth. Without growth in store staff pay, it will be hard to recruit and retain the quality workforce required to implement development plans.
Given that retail prices are limited by both the market and competition,
the focus has to be on raising the profitability of COOP Jednota Group
through projects aimed at reducing operating costs, exploiting market
position in negotiating purchase prices and through good long-term
cooperation with Slovak food producers. As the leading Slovak retailer,
COOP Jednota does not want to go down the path of cheap imports and poor
quality groceries but wants to continue being seen as a reliable retailer,
especially of Slovak grocery products which represent around 70% of
products sold in COOP Jednota stores.
COOP Jednota is the largest Slovak retail network. Together the regional COOP Jednotas operate 2,140 stores, and 2,125 of those belong to one of three basic formats: Potraviny, SUPERMARKET and Tempo SUPERMARKET.
The Potraviny format comprised 1,603 stores with a floorspace of up to 200m² as on 31 December 2018. One of the characteristics of the COOP Jednota system is its proximity to the customer and Potraviny stores have the closest proximity to people in villages, small towns and suburban areas. These stores provide customers with everyday goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods and COOP Jednota private label goods.
The SUPERMARKET brand had 503 stores with a floorspace of 200m² to 1,000m² at the end of the year.
These stores provide customers with a wide range of grocery products under the COOP Jednota private label as well as branded goods and also sell toiletries and household products. Supermarket stores are located in towns and cities and are the most rapidly expanding format.
The Tempo SUPERMARKET chain contains 19 stores with a floorspace of over 1,000m². These expansive stores provide customers with a wide range of fresh and store-cupboard groceries, toiletries and household goods, as well as a rich array of COOP Jednota private label goods. Customers can find all the latest facilities and new technologies such as electronic price tags and LED price tags.
COOP Jednota Slovakia has a network of 10 logistics centres that supply the COOP Jednota retail stores. In 2018 various projects were pursued and the functionality of selected logistics centres was expanded.
MARKETING, COMPETITIONS AND CAMPAIGNS
The key successes of the COOP Jednota brand in 2018 were the change in the corporate slogan, the fact that 70% of goods are Slovak, the many awards and prizes received, having the most popular adverts and 100,000 Facebook fans, the new sales promotions, and the return of the Wheel Crazy competition.
In 2018 the promotion of COOP Jednota underwent a change with the launch of a new corporate slogan ‘COOP Jednota the best home groceries every day’. The main heroes of the Shepherd and the Shepherd Boy narrative continued to grow in appeal despite having been around for 11 years, and it is no exaggeration to say that the COOP Jednota adverts rank among the nation’s favourites.
Connecting the brand with popular events is a means of consolidating the COOP Jednota image and brand awareness among customers. Examples are the TV programmes The Country Sings, Traditional Crafts and Folk Costume Day. COOP Jednota engages in these events in an attempt to preserve and propagate our rich folk culture and traditions.
Products are promoted through the advertising circulars in which we regularly promote selected goods.
The selection reflects customer needs and current eating habits, seasonal availability, new items on the market and above all feature the largest range of Slovak products.
In 2018 COOP Jednota launched a children’s sticker album Discover Slovakia’s Most Beautiful Animals.
The informational content of the album gave it added value as children could affix the stickers while reading interesting facts and information about the animals, accompanied by additional knowledge games and witty comments by the Shepherd and the Shepherd Boy.
The regular Easter and Christmas competitions were once again joined by the
summer Wheel Crazy competition, following a two-year break. The competition
was aimed at younger customers and the marketing and games reflected this.
A record 1,824,240 people entered the Christmas competition and over the
course of the year we gave out almost 3,900 prizes, the highest number
PROMOTING SLOVAK GROCERY SALES
Almost 70% of the products available in COOP Jednota stores are of Slovak
origin, reflecting many years of cooperation and good relations with
domestic and regional producers. The campaigns and activities COOP Jednota
organises to promote and present these products are some of the most
important ones in the year. The quality, freshness and availability of
Slovak goods are the main messages of these campaigns.
2018 was the 19th year of the COOP private label. It was also a year in which the portfolio was reviewed and all the main indicators of private label sales were evaluated. We also carried out a COOP Jednota customer survey to find out customers’ opinions, ideas and expectations. Using the information obtained we will continue to optimise the private label range in 2019. The number of products in the COOP Jednota private label range was 707 at the end of 2018.
Products sold in COOP Jednota packaging are divided into three basic categories: Good Price, Traditional Quality and Premium. Traditional Quality is further divided into groups of products targeted at specific consumers: Mum’s delicacies, Junior, Active life, Household, Organic and others.
All products bearing the COOP Jednota logo undergo regular checks in
accredited laboratories in Slovakia and abroad. Last year several thousands
of checks were performed to maintain and guarantee the continued quality of
products sold under the COOP Jednota label.
When visiting COOP Jednota stores in 2018, consumers had the option of using a number of additional services, enabling them to settle their accounts, top-up their mobile phones and get cashback at the till. One well-known and popular service is COOPkasa. Customers can use it to pay bills and postal orders at selected COOP Jednota stores. Customers can do their daily shop while paying their household bills.
COOP CashBack is a service we offer customers who are unable to withdraw cash from a cash machine. It enables cardholders to withdraw cash at the till.
COOP Jednota customers can also use the top-up services of the three
largest mobile phone operators.
NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN COOP JEDNOTA STORES
Todays’ customers are more demanding and are not satisfied merely by fully stocked shelves but also want to enjoy the time they spend instore and have a shopping experience. Therefore, every year at COOP Jednota we refurbish and update existing stores and open up new ones in which customers can find the latest technologies that make shopping easier and more enjoyable.
In the COOP Jednota network 606 LED television screens have been installed which display instore special offers on fruit and vegetables. Store staff are able to respond promptly to price changes across the store from a single entry point. A novelty introduced in 2018 is the showing of COOP Jednota adverts on LED TVs in an effort to merge the media landscape with the shop floor.
Electronic price tags
Electronic price tags were first installed in the COOP Jednota network in Nové Zámky in 2013 and since then have been extended to 28 Tempo Supermarket and Supermarket stores. Electronic LED price tags make it possible for all the product information to be graphically displayed during price updating, reducing workload and staff time while protecting the environment.
Customers of the 107 Nové Zámky COOP Jednota stores can access this shopping service through COOP Shopping. Customers scan their products using their smartphones, substantially speeding up payment at the checkout. Customers can use their smartphones to pay via Masterpass or any of the other available payment methods.
Self-service tills make shopping a faster and more convenient experience for the customer. By the end of 2018 self-service tills had been installed in 16 COOP Jednota stores.
Since 2014 musical marketing has been used in 37 selected COOP Jednota stores, enabling instore music to be played, including songs by well-known performers and COOP Jednota audio adverts.
Online shopping at COOP Jednota Žilina
The year 2018 brought a new development to the COOP Jednota network – the
launch of online shopping, known as COOP Shop, in COOP Jednota in Žilina.
Since February 2018 customers have been able to make their product selections from within the comfort of their own home from a
range of more than 8,500 items and then collect their shopping from one of
the 17 COOP Jednota stores in Žilina.
The main tool in the COOP Jednota Group’s loyalty programme is the COOP Jednota Shopping Card through which cardholders are offered a discount on their shopping twice a year. Before Christmas for the first six months of the year and before Easter for the second six months.
The records show that on 31 December 2018 there was a total of 1,188,883 loyalty card holders. Purchases made with the loyalty card accounted for 51.5% of total retail turnover. In 2018 discounts on shopping recorded on the loyalty card totalled €7,633,705.
The focus throughout 2018 was on improving services linked to the COOP Jednota mobile and web app that customers use to obtain information about their purchases and discounts, the dates when discounts are paid out, which stores the discounts apply in and other information about the loyalty card.
Through cooperation with commercial partners, special benefits were made
available to cardholders in COOP Jednota stores in the form of discounts on
selected products. COOP loyalty cardholders could also make use of the
financial advantages offered by our contracted partners involved in the
Jednota was first unveiled to readers in 2003 as a continuation of the tradition of the cooperative press. Its ambition to be adviser and partner to customers on issues relating to groceries, shopping, eating habits and a healthy lifestyle stems from COOP Jednota’s key aims as the largest Slovak grocery retailer. The mission of the 32-page colour monthly is to present COOP Jednota as the Slovak retailer with the largest share of Slovak products, as a modern trusted retail group, and to provide information on what’s new in the system and on marketing and charitable activities.
Jednota provides customers with an enjoyable and relaxing read, giving
advice relating to the daily shop and is an information source on the
retail chain’s activities. The magazine is not for sale but distributed to
customers through the COOP Jednota stores as a courtesy to customers for
shopping with us.
As part of our environmental policy, the COOP Jednota Group provides customers with instore collection points for used batteries and light bulbs.
In 2018 COOP Jednota customers could again opt not to use plastic bags but choose bags made from oxodegradable materials or long-life bags made from environmentally friendly or recycled materials – jute bags, organic cotton bags and bags made from recycled PET bottles.
The regional COOP Jednotas help save the environment by investing in energy-saving chilling equipment that uses new technologies. By introducing electronic price tags and LED pricelists in COOP Jednota stores, we are reducing the consumption of paper and toner, which are categorised as dangerous waste.
One indisputable advantage of LED lighting is that it generates less heat
and reduces staff tiredness.
COOP Jednota Slovakia, consumer cooperative, had a total of 68 employees as on 31 December 2018, 60% of whom were women. At the end of 2018, the total number of employees in the COOP Jednota Group was 14,064, with women accounting for 85%. The regional COOP Jednotas had a staff roll of 12,894, and 11,000 of these worked in retail stores. The logistics centres established by the COOP Jednotas had 1,102 employees at the end of 2018. In the COOP Jednota system, the strategic management and development of human resources is based on strict adherence to the principle of equal opportunities.
A key area in human resources management is staff education and training at all levels of the COOP Jednota system. In 2018 we implemented a number of key innovations in the training system which allow for greater flexibility and variability in training and motivating staff to learn. One of the most important innovations is the launch of a credit system. The consumer cooperatives and employees can gain credits not only in key training areas but also in optional training aimed at fulfilling individual staff development goals in professional and personal growth.
We continued with our COOP New Starts programme for new store staff. We also ran the COOP Talent programme, aimed at staff members with the ambition and potential to take on instore management positions.
In 2018 we invested more than €347,000 in staff training and development. More than 4,000 employees holding managerial and executive positions undertook training modules.
All employees in the COOP Jednota Group have access to the variable system of advantages and benefits.
The various COOP Jednotas are independent legal entities and so set their own benefits in line with their
limits and collective agreements. The system of advantages and benefits in
the COOP Jednota Group is an important part of staff care.
One of the principles in cooperative enterprise is the idea of mutual assistance. Throughout their existence cooperatives have fulfilled both a commercial and social function, supporting education and culture and
pursuing the public interest. The COOP Jednota Foundation, founded by COOP Jednota Slovakia back in 2001, makes a significant contribution to fulfilling these goals.
Local Community Support Programme
Following the successful implementation of the first year of the Local Community Support Programme, we introduced the second year in 2018. The goal of the project is to encourage and promote citizen participation in local and regional development through small-scale construction projects such as community gardens, gazebos, shelters, the planting and maintenance of foliage and the promotion of Slovak traditions.
In 2018 the Foundation allocated a total of €146,000 to the 25 winning projects COOP Jednota customers voted for. As there is continued interest among local government bodies, NGOs and education institutions in applying for grants up to €6,000, we plan to continue the community support programme.
Supporting healthcare and social assistance
Doing something for someone else that is not a legal or other duty is
always an act of free will, and a voluntary expression of solidarity. As
part of its activities, the foundation has provided support for healthcare
and social assistance. In 2018 it donated more than €31,000 for the
purchase of medical equipment and the provision of social assistance for
individuals and corporate bodies. Over the last five years, the foundation
has provided assistance amounting to €450,000.
AWARDS GAINED IN 2018
TOP young company in 2018 in Slovakia
A survey of university students by Junior Chamber International ranked COOP Jednota in first place in the Retail Chain–groceries category for the ninth time.
Slovak company of the year
A prestigious prize by the Hungarian weekly Figyelő awarded at a gala evening in Budapest.
An award for creativity-in-business by Incoma, which COOP Jednota Slovakia won in the following categories in 2018:
• First place in the TOP retail brand for the 10-year PR concept the Shepherd and the Shepherd Boy
• Second place in the Promo category for Masha and the Bear marketing activities and events
HERMES communicator of the year 2018
Grand Prix for the best company PR in the Slovak Republic was won by COOP Jednota Slovakia which came second in the retail chain category for marketing in 2018.
SENIOR FRIENDLY 2018
COOP Jednota won this award in 2018 for our involvement and interest in improving quality of life among elderly people.
the Slovak Superbrands expert panel awarded the Superbrands prize to COOP
Jednota at the end of 2018 for the sixth time, for use during 2018.
GOALS FOR 2019
• To strengthen COOP Jednota’s position as groceries market leader and leader in sales of Slovak products at both the regional and national levels
• To achieve retail turnover growth for COOP Jednota and an improved overall performance for the COOP Jednota Group
• To maintain and expand the competitive differences and unique aspects of the COOP Jednota system within the retail market
• To strengthen the PR strategy of the COOP Jednota brand by using integrated marketing and increasing the use of digital marketing tools
• To develop and modernise COOP Jednota stores through energy optimisation and introducing point-of-sales technologies.
• To synchronise the purchase, distribution and sale of fruit and vegetables through a single central partner
• To improve the provision and quality of additional services at POS terminals in COOP Jednota stores
• To complete the Trade and Support programme aimed at improving the database and interconnectivity between commercial and operational data in COOP Jednota business activities
• To expand the functionality of the existing logistics centres
• To improve staff training, professionality, motivation and satisfaction in the COOP Jednota Group in line with the goals set out for 2019 in Human Resources Management
• To make use of personnel marketing tools to support staff recruitment for store positions