The Co-op has unveiled a franchise recruitment programme to develop franchised 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 stores under its franchise offering, on top of its recent announcement to build around 100 new owned and operated stores this year.
The franchise offering will be for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community, in addition to having access to its own brand products.
Co-op franchisees will access a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business whilst share in the Co-op’s convenience success, which the company reports has seen over four-and-a-half years of consecutive like-for-like growth.
Martin Rogers, head of new channels at the Co-op, 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 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 members a five per cent reward back on Co-op own-brand purchases and a further one per cent donation to local community causes.
Rogers added: “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.”
Prospective franchisees that do not have an existing store, but are an investor looking to develop more than one store and are interested in partnering with Co-op, email firstname.lastname@example.org.