The Co-op has today unveiled moves to develop franchise stores, which will be the first time the 175-year-old supermarket has licenced its brand to independent retailers.
This expansion programme aims to create a significant number of new Co-op branded stores under its franchise offering, on top of its recent announcement to build around 100 new owned and operated stores in 2019.
This is a unique proposition for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community and is in addition to having access to Co-op own brand product, which is already available to around 4,000 stores following its acquisition of the wholesale business, Nisa.
Co-op franchisees will access a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with Co-op.
The new website is actively recruiting interested independent retailers to become franchisees and share in the Co-op’s convenience success, which has seen it achieve over four-and-a-half years of consecutive like-for-like growth.
Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels, said:
“This is a significant milestone in our franchise ambition and we’re looking for the right retailers in the right locations to share in our success and help widen the reach of Co-op products.
“We have been trialling our franchise model since last spring, with our fourth store opening this month, and we have seen a minimum 50 per cent uplift on sales in these stores. We now have the capability to deliver franchising at scale, offering our award-winning food, in new places to attract new customers and members.”
The Co-op franchise stores will offer a wide range of branded and own brand lines. In addition, franchised outlets will provide shoppers with the same access to the Co-op’s membership scheme which gives a 5 per cent reward back on Co-op own-brand purchases and a further 1 per cent is donated to local community causes.
“We’ve got a strong track-record in delivering quality products for our customers and we know that when we work together to achieve a common purpose, great things can happen. We’re a business that’s growing and innovating to give our customers more of what they need.”
The Co-op franchise recruitment platform launched at regional roadshows this week and interest can be registered here https://www.coop.co.uk/franchise