This one calls for an explanation. Some years ago the Co-Op supermarket chains in the three Scandinavian countries merged in order to meet competition from private chains like Dansk Supermarked and ICA.
So, how did it go?
Depending on what country you are looking at, it’s been a disaster and a success. In Denmark and Norway the Co-Op chains are doing really fine and the Danish results for 2005 were the best ever.
In Sweden, on the other hand, Co-Op is in a deep, perhaps even mortal, crisis. Here the chain performed miserably during 2005 and the Swedish losses nearly wiped out the Danish and Norwegian gains.
The interesting point is that Co-Op has traditionally been linked with the Social Democratic parties and the Labour movements. The Swedish Social Democrats are doing fine at the polls while Swedish Co-Op is bleeding. The Danish Social Democrats are bleeding at the polls while the Danish Co-Op is making money as never before.
Maybe the point is that Social Democrats don’t shop at Co-Op anymore?