The Co-operative Group’s new boss must revamp the retailer’s supermarket format and marketing if it is to win back share, believe industry observers.

The Co-op

As group chief executive Peter Marks prepares to stand down next year, Kantar retail insights director Bryan Roberts said his yet-to-be-appointed successor must capitalise on the growing food-to-go market and improve branding and pricing, alongside Steve Murrells, who joined as chief executive for food last month.

The Co-op has remodelled several stores as part of a trial, and Marks told Retail Week that a roll-out was likely following like-for-like growth.

Planet Retail UK grocery analyst David Gray believes an image overhaul is needed. “They need to do something about their food stores. Their strapline – Good with Food – is tired, as are some of their stores.”

The Co-op revealed this week that Marks will leave after 45 years in the co-operative movement, six of those as chief executive.

Marks said his time in charge would be defined by the unification of a number of businesses under the Co-operative umbrella, including banking and funeral services.

His departure comes after he secured the purchase of 632 branches of Lloyds Banking Group Verde, and a £950m refinancing deal. He told Retail Week: “It will take three to five years of 24/7 work to integrate [Verde] and I don’t have that in me.”