Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers, one of the first consumers' cooperatives, founded in 1844 in Rochdale, England, by 28 Lancashire weavers. Influenced by the theories of Robert Owen, they opened a grocery store that was so successful that they were able to establish a cooperative factory and textile mill (see cooperative movements). Their rules combined a fixed interest on capital with a distribution of profits in proportion to purchases. This has remained the basic structure of consumers' cooperatives.
See J. Reeves, A Century of Rochdale Co-operation, 1844–1944 (1944).
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