The Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op (OS&G) and the West Midlands Co-op have announced plans to merge and become the fourth largest co-operative in the UK. The societies will seek support from their combined 175,000 members for the move, which would encompass 350 stores with a joint turnover of around £500m. The two societies run 134 c-stores between them and will adopt a new name and single fascia for them if the merger proceeds. The position of chief executive for the new society will first be held by Bob Burlton, current chief executive of OS&G Co-op. Ben Reid of the West Midlands Society will take the reins after Burlton steps down in the second half of next year. OS&G president Vivian Woodell said: “We are convinced the combined society will be more profitable and hence stronger than if we remain apart.”