The Banbury Co-operative Industrial Society was born in 1886.
Its first initiative was to establish a shop in Bridge Street. This sold groceries and provisions and was much used by families from the Cherwell industrial quarter of the town. Wives from this area welcomed a form of retailing more in tune with their working class needs and attitudes.
Co-operative Society trade grew rapidly and just 2½ years later the move to Broad Street took place. Co-opville was born and became a town within a town. Between 1878 and 1894 various departments took shape under the guidance of Frederick Lamb who was both secretary and manager.