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Retailer rewards staff with extra week’s pay for their efforts during coronavirus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:57 20 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:57 20 April 2020

Central England Co-op staff are celebrating a pay boost  Picture: ALEX CANTRILL-JONES

Central England Co-op staff are celebrating a pay boost Picture: ALEX CANTRILL-JONES

Central England Co-operative

Hundreds of Suffolk and Norfolk store staff working for a regional retail chain are celebrating an extra week’s pay as a reward for going “above and beyond” during the coronavirus crisis.

Central England Co-op staff at 30 stores across the two counties are among 7,400 employees working in shops, funeral homes and distribution hubs who will be receiving the financial boost to their June pay packet as a thank you from their employer.

They will also see their staff discount doubled until the end of the same month.

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The co-op chain said it wanted to reward them for their hard work, dedication and supporting the community.

Chief executive Debbie Robinson said staff had been doing “a tremendous job” to ensure communities continue to have access to vital essentials and services during the lockdown.

“Our teams in food stores and distribution have worked around the clock to ensure that our stores stay open and communities can stay safe while getting the food they need.

“Our funeral colleagues have been there for the families of loved ones in our care.

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“This is why, in the spirit of co-operation, we are rewarding colleagues on the frontline in our stores, distribution hubs and funeral homes with one week’s extra pay in June in recognition of their phenomenal support.

“This reward is just one of the ways we are saying thank you and showcasing the importance of our frontline workers in helping keep our communities safe and supported.”

The bonus comes after the society which runs the chain brought forward its annual share of profits and increased its staff discount earlier this month as a ‘thank you’ to its employees.

The retailer has reduced its food store opening hours to allow staff to clean stores and replenish shelves with food and essentials as well as ensuring they get more time with their families to rest and recuperate.

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment, and is owned by its hundreds of thousands of members.

It has more than 430 trading outlets across 16 counties. It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme.

It has stores in a number of Norfolk and Suffolk towns, including Cromer, Brundall, Bungay, Beccles, Loddon, Lowestoft, Carlton Colville and Stowupland.

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