ScotMid was established as a co-operative in 1859. It was founded at a time when poverty and social unrest was uncommon. Prior to establishing the co-operative, a group of working men from Edinburgh held a meeting and agreed to form a co-operative. After a number of meetings, the group agreed to appoint John Borrowman as president and the co-operative was given the name St. Cuthbert’s.
In November of 1859, St.Cuthbert’s Food Shop was opened, which was the co-operative’s first store. The store was located in the area of Fountainbridge, Edinburgh. The co-operative’s store became a success and in 1880, the St. Cuthbert’s co-operative society relocated to its impressive new offices, which were located in Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.
Over the years, the merger of smaller groups, as well as the creation of an expansion policy paved the way for St. Cuthbert’s to grow and become one of Britain’s biggest independent societies. In the succeeding years, St. Cuthbert’s also diversified its business to include bakery, large-scale dairy and butchery operations. The co-operative also entered into funeral services, carriage works, property letting, tearooms and farming.
In 1959, St. Cuthbert’s opened its Supermarket, which also happened to be Scotland’s first supermarket. In 1965, the co-operative’s transport services received a Royal Warrant from the Her Majesty the Queen.
In January of 1981, St.Cuthbert’s entered into a merger with another large group, “The Dalziel Society of Motherwell.” This amalgamation ensured St. Cuthbert’s future expansion and extension of trading areas. Shortly after completion of the merger, the name St. Cuthbert’s was changed to “Scottish Midland Co-operative Society,” or ScotMid.
In the next years, smaller groups continued to join ScotMid and the co-operative continued to grow. In 1995, ScotMid was able to acquire Semi-Chem, a family-run business operating as a beauty products retailer and discount health products retailer. Semi-Chem already had 25 stores when ScotMid was acquired it.
Under ScotMid, Semi-Chem was able to flourish and by 1999, there were Semi-Chem stores all over Scotland. In the middle of 1999, ScotMid was able to acquire Options, a chain of 27 stores based in Northern Ireland.
In the succeeding years, ScotMid was able to acquire several more companies, including M&S Toiletries, Morning Noon and Night (a chain of convenience stores inDundee).
Today, ScotMid continues to make improvements in its businesses, including the refurbishing of its stores.
Ownership Type: Co-operative
Employees: information not available
Geography: UK(Scotland and Ireland in particular)
Demography: retail food consumers