Scotland’s largest independent co-op, retailer Scotmid Co-operative, has been in business for over 160 years. With stores spread across Scotland, it gives its members a say in how the co-op supports those communities.
Harry Cairney is a lifelong co-operator and President of Scotmid since 2014. His first job on leaving school was with the co-op. “From the bag to the boardroom is absolutely my story. I never imagined that I’d never become a President when I first joined.”
Proud of his achievements, Harry is also proud to be part of an organisation that operates fairly and democratically – and makes a difference to the communities it serves. “To me, being a member is everything. There are more important things than the bottom line. Benefitting the community is our core purpose.”
Scotmid’s member-owners have a say in how the business is run – and how it distributes its funds and supports good causes
Scotmid has diversified over recent decades – into property, funeral care and health and beauty retail with the acquisition of the Semichem chain.
“The high street is suffering,” says Harry. “A balanced portfolio means we won’t be caught off guard – and members made the decision to diversify.”
Scotmid selects a Charity of the Year to support – and over the last six years, these chosen charities have received £2 million. Another impressive feat the co-op has achieved is gaining an entry in the Guinness World Records book for holding the World’s Biggest Burns Supper in January 2020.