Chief Executive Officer’s Retirement Date Agreed

Chief Executive Officer, Tony Gudgeon will retire on 4th May 2013, having served the Society for 15 years and the Movement for over 50 years.

Barry Wood will become Chief Executive Officer on 5th May 2013.

Society President, Pauline Dodd stated, “The Board and members are grateful to Tony for ensuring a smooth transition over to Barry and for his tremendous achievements in making Chelmsford Star the profitable and respected Co-operative it is today”.

Mr C Fegan

Members will be aware that former Director and member, Mr C Fegan had indicated his desire to pursue a number of grievances against the Society, and to seek resolution via independent and binding arbitration as per the Society’s rules.

The Society, at considerable cost, facilitated the request.  Mr Fegan has however, not complied with the requirements of the rules in the matter of paying certain monies and has also not complied with a request by the independent arbitrator to make a written submission within prescribed timescales.

Fairtrade Sales Continue to Grow

Fairtrade sales within Chelmsford Star have reached a new record in the financial year ended 26th January 2013.

Total sales amounted to £866,188, growth of 4.66%.

Head of Food, Stuart Hammond stated, “The past year has seen general food sales remain flat with many retailers reporting nil growth.

We are delighted with the commitment of our members and customers to Fairtrade because it is they who have made this impressive growth figure possible.”

Co-operative Energy Attracts 100,000 Customers In Less Than Two Years

Ethical energy supplier Co-operative Energy has reached 100,000 customers less than two years after entering the energy market.

Over one thousand customers are now joining every day and the business, which is based in Warwick and part of the Midcounties Co-operative, now employs a team of 80 staff.  The business is on target to break even in its second financial year.

Chelmsford Star Supports Winter Appeal

HUNDREDS of food parcels are to be distributed to elderly and vulnerable people through the Surviving Winter Appeal, thanks to the backing of the Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society.

The appeal has already given vital help to many people at risk during the winter months by distributing warm packs and making financial donations. Now the food packs will be an extra lifeline made possible through the appeal, which is being co-ordinated by local charitable trust, Essex Community Foundation (ECF) in partnership with the British Red Cross and Age UK Essex.

New Year, New Challenge?

Local Co-operative Society, Chelmsford Star is currently on its annual recruitment drive to fill vacancies within its governance structure.

Now in its 146th Year with an annual turnover in excess of £90m, the society is one of  Mid- Essex’s biggest employers, with a workforce of over 800.

The strategy and way forward for this ambitious organisation is determined by a non executive board of 10 Directors, all of whom are voted into their position by the membership.

Chelmsford Star searches for new Charity of the Year!

Local Co-operative Society, Chelmsford Star has embarked on its annual search for its next ‘Charity of the Year’ for 2013/14.

Pauline Dodd, Society President said;

‘The Board of Directors are currently looking for local registered charities to put themselves forward as potential candidates backed up with a written statement on what the funds are required for. They compile a short list in mid-February and then invite the 800 members of the Society’s employees to vote on their preference.

Chelmsford Star Records Growth in a Depressed Christmas Market

Gross takings for the important five week “Christmas period” ended 5th January 2013 grew by 3.14% on a “like for like” basis of comparison.

Commenting on the Society’s performance Chief Executive Officer, Tony Gudgeon stated, “In common with most other retailers, we have found trading in the last five weeks to be very challenging, our emphasis on good availability, strong promotions and good service has given us a respectable result”.

The Society’s convenience food business was up 3.82%, Travel grew by 19.0%, whilst Departmental Stores were down 2.86%.