Co-Op Food – one of the UK’s biggest supermarkets – has announced that it is ending its partnership with TOTUM, bringing an end to student discount at Co-Op.

The Co-Op discount was one of the biggest draws of getting a TOTUM card. But now that Co-Op will no longer be providing a student discount, this is bad news for the brand.

Embed from Getty Images

The Announcement

Co-Op members received an email this week advising them that the TOTUM discount is ending soon.

The TOTUM discount provided a 10% saving on all items – excluding some items like lottery tickets, e-cigarettes etc. This, combined with a Co-Op membership card, provided great discounts.

The discount will stop from 31st October 2023. There was little reasoning given for the announcement.

The contract between Co-Op and TOTUM had been renewed back in 2020 through 2023. The contract has subsequently not been renewed. Therefore, the TOTUM card will no longer be valid at Co-Op.

What next for TOTUM?

The TOTUM card has been one of the most sought-after Student Discount cards for many years – having replaced the NUS card.

Having the Co-Op discount was a unique selling point for TOTUM cards, and helped to make them hugely popular. But without this, they may not attract so many people.

This is especially the case given that other discount cards exist. Suddenly, the TOTUM card is less appealing. They may need to find a new way to attract purchases for their cards.

However, TOTUM does have a number of existing discounts and benefits. This should help them to retain a good number of customers.

What next for Co-Op?

Co-Op is definitely one of the pricier supermarkets in the United Kingdom. It will be interesting to see how Co-Op’s sales are post-TOTUM discount.

But Co-Op have a strong brand and a good segment of the overall market. Yet for many, the TOTUM discount was a key reason for shopping there.

Co-Op membership will continue, which does provide some discounts for customers. These discounts can be found in the mobile app.

Supermarkets are needing to cut costs where possible. The cost of living crisis is making consumers shop at cheaper stores. Then there is also the shoplifting epidemic, which is causing further losses.

Will the Co-Op offer a student discount again?

Currently, there is no plan for Co-Op to offer another student discount scheme. This may change, but for now, Co-Op does not offer a student discount.

With Co-Op priding itself on being a key part of local communites, it is possible that they will partner with another provider in order to provide discounts.

Alternatively, Co-Op may take the approach championed by Tesco‘s Clubcard, which provides discounted prices in-store for those with a loyalty card.

The Takeaway

So the student discount is coming to an end at Co-Op. It has been a good run, which has helped to provide savings for many.

In truth, it is likely that after an initial drop-off in sales, that Co-Op will soon bounce back. We will quickly get used to life post-TOTUM at Co-Op.