Channel Islands Coop may scrap 2023 customer dividends due to 'difficult trading conditions'

  • Channel Islands Coop Chief Executive Mark Cox blames tough trading conditions caused by things like inflation, Brexit and the war in Ukraine.

Shoppers at a major Channel Islands supermarket are being warned their 2023 dividend payment could be reduced or scrapped entirely.

In an email to its members, Channel Islands Coop Chief Executive Mark Cox said the organisation is "currently grappling with some challenging decisions due to the ongoing difficult trading conditions".

He blamed inflation, Brexit, the pandemic and global conflicts as "significant hurdles" that the industry has faced over the past five years.

Mr Cox added the CI Coop has resisted increasing prices on many everyday items to protect its members as household budgets are under pressure.

However, in absorbing some of those "relentless" costs, Mr Cox said the society's net surplus or profit will be "notably reduced" in its end-of-year financial report.

The CI Coop is due to hold its annual members' meeting in May where the "unprecedented adjustment to the dividend" will be voted on.

If they vote to reject it, a better offer will not necessarily be made.

Although the CI Coop is owned by its members, the board makes the final decision on what the business can afford to pay.

Shoppers receive dividends by using society services so the more money they spend on things like groceries, the more they can expect to earn but the exact figure is not guaranteed.

Mr Cox recognises this announcement may worry customers but he stressed that the organisation remains in an overall strong financial position.

He added: "I understand that such news may be disappointing and raise concerns, however it's crucial that our Board makes decisions based on what is best for the business and all stakeholders' interests."