Empowering the teams at Co-op

Connecting teams in 2,600 Co-op stores across the UK


The Co-operative Group is the largest consumer cooperative in the UK.

With 4.6 million active members, 4,200 locations and 70,000 employees, it is one of the UK’s longest established and most loved ethical retailers.

In 2018 the Co-op celebrated another successful year, totalling £10.2 billion in revenue. As a collective business, being commercially strong enables the Co-op to generate even more value for its members.

Like many UK retailers, the Co-op is facing a strong set of market challenges. The Co-op set out to deliver increased value for its shareholders by tackling these challenges head on, resulting in a positive impact for colleagues and members across the UK.

VoCoVo’s Impact

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Improved security and reduction in theft

Connected teams can tackle theft and security issues.

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Greater efficiencies

Reduction in travel time and improvement in staff productivity.

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Happier and safer colleagues

53% of Co-op colleagues said they felt safer with VoCoVo and XX% were happier!


A more productive way of working with effective in-store communications was needed.

When the Co-op first approached VoCoVo they faced a common set of market challenges, despite a series of successful financial years.

Co-op colleagues faced numerous challenges around security, time management and team communication that could lead to inefficiencies.

In smaller stores, colleagues were spread too thinly, leading to problems with losses and handling customer issues. This made customer interaction more complicated, as colleagues couldn’t always provide instant feedback or quickly contact their team.

The Co-op approached VoCoVo for support in introducing a new voice technology in-store, in order to facilitate better colleague communication and safety.


VoCoVo became a part of the team uniform.

When the Co-op approached VoCoVo to introduce a new voice technology in store, we quickly completed a proof of concept across 20 stores. VoCoVo measured the impact of this trial using pedometers and colleague surveys. Co-op had tried headsets from another provider, but chose VoCoVo as we were able to offer a more future-proofed investment.

Our solution comprised headsets for each store. This meant that staff could communicate effortlessly, without leaving their position, across the entire team.

Within a few weeks VoCoVo had installed the 20-store trial, followed three months later by a 100-store phase two trial. The full rollout to a total of 2,600 stores commenced just 12 months after our first meeting with Co-op. Working closely with the Co-op, we were able to quickly deliver a solution that perfectly met their needs.

The solution was so successful that the initial rollout to 20 stores was increased to 100 stores, then eventually to a further 2,500.

The impact of the VoCoVo voice technology was felt immediately in store. Colleague feedback indicated they felt safer, more connected and found team communication easier.

Queue times decreased, and customer queries were dealt with much more quickly. The Co-op data from the proof of concept showed a saving of 3 man hours per store per week. VoCoVo measured the results using worn devices and qualitative feedback.

This showed a significant saving on travel time as well as increase in productivity. Colleagues also found it easier to summon managers, find answers and inform security when necessary.

“VoCoVo supported us in rolling out a new technology that enabled us to meet our current market challenges. Colleagues loved the headsets, which enabled them to better connect to their team, customers and operations. The voice system is now a mandatory part of the uniform across 2,600 stores. We’re very pleased with the positive impact it’s had on our colleagues, security and bottom line.”

Dave Tyas | Retail Change Lead at Co-op