Stowupland Co-op store celebrates first birthday by asking community to help everyone stay safe

A Central England Co-op store in Stowupland is celebrating its first anniversary by explaining to customers changes put in place to keep them safe as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Food Store, which is based in Thorney Green, created 20 new jobs and saw £1.4 million invested in the local community when the ribbon was cut in June last year.

The site has been going from strength to strength since then but, like all other retailers, has had to make major changes to the way it works to keep colleagues, Members and customers safe and healthy.

This includes social distancing measures being put in place including special floor markings, one-way system and external queuing, hygiene changes such as a newly introduced hand sanitising station upon entry and safety devices such as plastic screens at checkouts and visors for all colleagues.

The retailer is asking customers to help its colleagues and their fellow customers by adhering to all of the social distancing guidelines in place to keep everyone safe and healthy during these uncertain times.

Store Manager Anna Alfredson said: “We have enjoyed a great first year at Stowupland and want to thank everyone for their support as all of us here are proud to be part of such a great community.

“The team has also faced major changes and challenges during these uncertain times and we now all face a very different shopping experience.

“We would loved to have celebrated our first birthday with a big party but instead if we can all adhere to the changes put in place to combat the Coronavirus then we can celebrate by all staying safe and healthy at this time.”

Customers visiting the Stowupland store will notice these measures in place:

  • Stores using every other till point or checkout to keep customers and colleagues a safe distance apart
  • Special markings installed in front of till points and checkouts of at least one metre. If a customer needs to enter this area to place down a basket or use the keypad, colleagues move backwards to maintain a safe distance
  • Special markings installed to showcase two-metre safe distances while queueing at till points
  • Customers are asked to pay with card or contactless if possible
  • Specialist cleaning products are used to regularly wipe down the countertops and chip and pin machines, ATMs, baskets and trolleys
  • Special markings installed throughout stores to showcase to customers two metre spacing and customers are asked to maintain these distances while shopping
  • Special markings installed outside stores so customers queuing to enter maintain safe distances of two metres

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at

The Stowupland Co-operative Food Store is open from 6am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday. The store offers a wide range of products from everyday necessities to something a little more special.

The store offer includes fresh and local fruit and vegetables, an in-store bakery offering breads and pastries, chilled beers and wines, fresh and frozen product, Irresistible product ranges, and a great selection of food to go.

It also offers Lottery, Paypoint, Collect Plus, foreign currency and a free car park, as well as a lifesaving defibrillator.

Customers are also able to support local good causes as specialist collection points have been installed for Stowmarket & Area Food Bank.



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About Central England Co-operative

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.


Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 


Our 7,900 colleagues who serve Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.


Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 


We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.


We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.


Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood



Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle


Phone - 01543 421390


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