The creation of a single 'super' co-op has inched another step closer, after two more independent societies said they would adopt 'The Co-operative' brand.
Lothian Borders and Angus and Chelmsford Star are the latest to take on the new style.
The news comes as the Co-operative Group embarks on a major project to rebrand and refit 1,500 retail outlets by the end of 2008 at a cost of £200m.
More than half of its 4,500-strong estate of food stores, pharmacies, travel, funeral and bank branches, and all its own brand products and packaging, will for the first time be unified under 'The Co-operative' brand.
Co-operative trading group chief executive Peter Marks said he was delighted that two more "progressive societies" were adopting the brand. He added: "The inconsistency of our brand has been a major failing for far too long. This modernisation programme will address that."
Lothian Borders and Angus is to rebrand all its 54 branches before the end of the year.
Chelmsford Star decided on the rebrand after a pilot at its Chelmsford, Essex, store prompted an 11% increase in turnover and a 14% rise in gross profits. The group hopes to have 12 stores rebranded by 2009.
"The national brand is not just about fascias and logos, but about standards in service delivery, including membership offer and product range," added Ben Reid, chief executive of the Midcounties Co-operative, which has adopted the branding. "We are already seeing an improvement in staff morale and trading profits," he added.