Saturday, December 3, 2022
Memories of Llanelli’s CO-OP

Memories of Llanelli’s CO-OP

CHRISTMAS  usually meant a visit to see Santa at some venue or other across Llanelli.

One of the most popular places for parents to take their children was the CO-OP store, which sat on Murray Street and Market Street.

It could be accessed via a bridge, which spanned the main road. The other entrance was where the entrance to Wilkinsons is today.

The CO-OP was the very first self-service supermarket of its kind in Wales. Costing around £22,000 to build it opened in December 1958 and provided shoppers in Llanelli with a range of products and opportunities to start saving with the Cooperative bank.

The CO-OP was quite a trendsetter in that it sold its own brand foods and products and was owned by its own members. It also introduced the 8-hour working day for employees.

The new store had cost £22,000 to build and equip. It had a selling area of around 2000 sq. ft with sales reportedly around £3,000 per week. Sadly the store closed in 1997 making way for the St. Elli Centre; however, more smaller CO-OP stores sprang up around Llanelli, Burry Port and Kidwelly.

Community Heritage unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the CO-OP on 19th December 2018. The plaque is located on the side of the Principality bank close to where the original building stood.

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