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ICA acquires .coop business to take movement into future

11 November 2012

In a step to solidify its digital strategy and to reach the next generation of co-operative members, the ICA has acquired the .coop domain name. Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, the ICA been gifted the Domains.coop registrar and the technical infrastructure behind the .coop domain, from the UK’s Midcounties Co-operative.

The announcement was made by Charles Gould, Director-General of the ICA, at a press conference prior to the General Assembly in Manchester last week, who said this move is in line with the movement’s Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, which calls for a stronger link and connection with young people.

He said: “The ICA is very appreciative of the gift that Midcounties Co-operative has made to us with two important businesses that is essential to how .coop operates. One of these is a registry operator, so it keeps track of who owns what names, such as ica.coop. So that’s the technical business that is part of the gift. The other business is domains.coop, which is a registrar that is responsible for selling the names.

“This is very essential to where the ICA is going, the gift has come at a very opportune time. Our priority strategy in the International Year of Co-operatives has been to raise public awareness of co-operatives. You cannot do that without a digital strategy, especially because we need to engage youth in the next generation and you have to find your next set of members where they live — and they live digitally. It is essential that we are at the centre of that strategy.

“In the Blueprint, one of the five strategies is on identity, a digital strategy is essential for the ICA and for co-operatives to really carve out our role as a distinct model.”

The domains.coop business is responsible for around 80% of .coop sales, with a number of resellers based around the world.

Ben Reid, Chief Executive of Midcounties Co-operative, added: “The Board of Midcounties Co-operative was very pleased that the ICA is going to assume responsibility for the on-going promotion of .coop. It has been an act of faith by the Society, when they secured the domain on behalf of the Movement, which has now been justified by the recognition that .coop can make a significant contribution to raising the awareness of Co-operatives worldwide.”

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