Confronting three revolutions: Western European consumer co-operatives and their divergent development, 1950-2008
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article analyses the divergent development of Western European consumer co-operatives in the period from 1950 to 2008. It asks how some consumer co-ops throughout the post-war years manage to defend and even strengthen their market share and increase their membership while others saw both market shares and membership decline or evaporate. To analyse this question the paper offers a comparative analysis of three selected consumer co-ops; one case where consumer co-ops developed positively (Norway), one case showing consumer co-operative collapse (Germany) and one case where there has been quite substantial decline but no collapse (United Kingdom). The overall argument propounded is that the success or decline of these co-ops was intimately linked to how they confronted three parallel transformations in the post-war food retail market: the ‘supermarket revolution’, the ‘chain store revolution’ and the ‘consumer revolution’. The divergent ability to confront these challenges was related both to external and internal factors.
This is the author’s final, accepted and refereed manuscript to the article