The Co-operative Group is a United Kingdom consumers' co-operative, and, after the acquisition of Somerfield supermarkets, is the world's largest consumer-owned business, with over 4.5 million members and 87,000 employees across all its businesses. Regional and local retail co-operative societies are corporate members of the Group. The Co-operative Group is a family of businesses, led by its principles and owned by its members; it is not controlled by shareholders or financial investors solely for the pursuit of profit
On March 4, 2009, J Sainsbury plc (Public, LON:SBRY) it announced the acquisition of 24 stores from the Co-operative Group comprising 22 Somerfield branded stores and two Co-operative branded stores. On 18 February 2009, the Company acquired Town Centre Retail (Bicester) Limited.