Co-op has issued a 34-day message to Christmas shoppers ahead of the festive season. Instead of a Christmas advert this year. The Co-Op says its Christmas campaign focuses on “the gift of community spirit” as it calls on members and customers to donate to local causes.

The retailer has pledged to match the donations. The retailer said it was doing this “as other retailers spend millions of pounds in the battle of the Christmas adverts” and flagged that “no Hollywood actors, talking veg, or global singing stars” were needed for its Christmas campaign.

From 22 November, the convenience store retailer will encourage shoppers to either donate money via their member’s rewards balance in the app, or donate in store at till points with the funds going towards local community causes. Co-op chief membership and marketing officer Kenyatte Nelson said: “After the tough year consumers and communities have faced, I know our members will step up and donate their member wallets this Christmas, or donate in our stores along with our customers, knowing we will stand by them, and match their generosity.

READ MORE Met Office breaks silence on snow hitting UK across 11 dates in November and December

“Giving the gift of community spirit isn’t a trite marketing tag line, it’s a genuine desire by our members, customers and Co-op, to amass a Christmas funding boost to make a real difference to the communities we serve.” Members can donate their Member rewards balance via the Co-op app, and from next week.

Members and customers alike can also donate in the 2400 Co-op stores across the country. Co-op’s Local Community Fund supports local causes and community projects that have an impact and made a difference locally, while aligning with Co-op’s value. It includes enabling communities to save and restore nature or tackle climate change: Including community gardens, tree planting, energy schemes, re-wilding, and sustainable transport .

it also includes the creation of opportunities for young people to be heard and make a difference: For example, youth groups and forums that work to build confidence, life, and employability skills .