The chief executive has admitted the Co-operative's 'disastrous' £2.5bn losses for 2013 means that "thousands" of jobs will go from the organisation.
Richard Pennycook said: "I wouldn't want to pretend that there won't be job losses. We have said that there will.
"I don't want to put a specific number on [fewer people working for the Co-operative] but it will be a smaller group, some thousands of people smaller than that.
"Some of those because of our colleagues, in businesses that we are selling, will be going with those businesses to new owners."
He said that the group would remain a "very significant" employer in two years' time, adding that within four weeks the organisation's AGM would reveal the "new shape of the group", and a "clearer idea of how it is going to look".
More top news
Close to a frost in places tonight
Mali has been awarded the PDSA's Dickin Medal for his courage under attack, saving the lives of dozens of British soldiers.
The 49-year-old man from Swanage has been released under investigation, as Gaia's family said they were 'holding on to hope'.