Success since 1864: Coop has had a successful history.

Our history

The Coop Group can look back on a history spanning over 150 years. What began as a small consumer cooperative is now an international organization active in retail and wholesale/production.

How it all started

In 1864, textile industrialist Jean Jenny-Ryffel formed Switzerland's first consumer cooperative in Schwanden in the canton of Glarus, which was based on the seven principles of the «Rochdale Equitable Pioneers».

The foundation of the present-day Coop

Over the next few years, many other cooperatives emerged in Switzerland. In 1890, the Schwander Consumer Cooperative and other cooperatives joined together to form the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine. In so doing, they laid the foundation of the present-day Coop. In 1969, the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine was given a new name: Coop Switzerland.

The vision of a cooperative

As many cooperatives were too small and were unable to survive independently, over the years there were numerous mergers among the Coop societies. In 1999, there were 14 regional Coop societies remaining. That year, the biggest milestone in Coop's history was set, when the Boards of Directors decided to restructure our company.

Modern structures

As of 1 January 2001, the 14 regional Coop societies and Coop Switzerland merged to form the present-day Coop. Our company was given modern structures, a forward-looking marketing strategy and its current logo.

So, what started out some 150 years ago as a small consumer cooperative has now become a globally active retail and wholesale company. Throughout all these changes, however, one thing has always remained the same: our cooperative structure. Then as now, our principle is: We are owned by our members, the customers.

The major milestones to date

  • Founder of the first Swiss consumer cooperative Jean Jenny-Ryffel.
    1864: Jenny-Ryffel forms first Swiss consumer cooperative.
  • In 1890, many cooperatives merged
    1890: Merger of numerous cooperatives ...
  • The Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine emerged in 1890
    ... to form the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine.
  • The first edition of the
    1902: First edition of «Genossenschaftliches Volksblatt» ...
  • Today's Coop Member Press grew from the
    ... which evolved into today's Coop Member Press.
  • The
    1914: Introduction of the «CO-OP» brand
  • In 1969, the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine became Coop Switzerland.
    1969: The Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine ...
  • Coop was born of the Verband Schweizerischer Konsumvereine in 1969.
    ... becomes Coop Switzerland.
  • In 1989, Oecoplan was introduced as the first own-label sustainability brand
    1989: Oecoplan, first own-label sustainability brand
  • Coop's own-label organic brand Naturaplan has existed since 1993.
    1993: Launch of own-label organic brand Naturaplan
  • In 1999, 14 regional societies and the central Coop Switzerland business merged
    From 1999: Merger of the 14 regional societies and ...
  • ... the central Coop Switzerland into a single cooperative.
  • In 2000, the Coop Supercard was introduced.
    2000: Introduction of the Coop Supercard
  • In 2005, Coop entered the wholesale sector with Transgourmet.
    2005: Entry into wholesale with Transgourmet
  • In 2011, Coop fully acquires the Transgourmet Group.
    2011: Full acquisition of the Transgourmet Group.
  • In 2014, Coop generates sales in excess of one billion francs from online trading.
    2014: Online trading breaks the one billion sales threshold.