Co-op eyeing 40 franchise stores by the end of the year

July 9, 2021

The Co-op is set to take its franchise estate to almost 40 stores by the end of the year, well ahead of its original target.

The convenience retailer said in March that it wanted to double the number of franchise stores to 30 by the end of 2021. However, it has already reached 28 stores and has plans to open a further 11 in the next few months.

 
Co-op opened 14 franchise stores over an 11-week period from mid-March.

The franchise estate covers a range of store types and locations spanning community neighbourhoods, city centres, university campuses and petrol forecourts, as well as its first service station, which opened in March.

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Its seventh university franchise store, in Keele, is set to open in September.

“The quality, convenience and values of Co-op are resonating more strongly than ever with a growing proportion of the population and we’re delighted to see more of our valued independent retailers choosing Co-op as their franchise partner,” said Co-op head of new channels Martin Rogers.

“We’re a business that’s growing and innovating to give our customers more of what they need, and the breadth of our franchise operation is allowing the Co-op brand to reach even more of our customers in new communities.

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“We started the year with 14 franchise stores, which we’ve already doubled, and will be at around 40 by the end of 2021. This is all testament to the strength and diversity of the model and the flexibility of the proposition.

“We’re looking for the right retailers in the right locations who share our values and principles to become part of the Co-op community and grow their business with us.”

By Alice Leader

Source: The Grocer

Co-op Unveils Plans for New Franchise Store

May 31, 2021

The company has signed its next university franchise store, with a shop set to open at Keele University in September.

 
With university stores already operating at Leeds, Kent, Newcastle, Oxford Brookes and Stirling, Keele is the seventh Co-op franchise store to open across six universities, supporting the Co-op’s strategy to get closer to communities and to where what its customers want, need and, care about.

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Stocking a tailored range of great value and quality Co-op own brand products, as well as a wide range of Fairtrade, free-from and vegan options, it will bring both value to the campus experience and students’ pockets, with the Co-op being the only grocer to offer an exclusive 10 per cent student discount to TOTUM card holders.

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Martin Rogers, head of new channels at Co-op, said: “Our university franchise stores are a great opportunity for us to grow our brand, share our values, and get our products into the hands of the next generation of customers and members and as the exclusive retail grocery store franchise partner for The National Union of Students (NUS) and we’re already serving c.150k students up and down the country.”

Source: Retail and Leisure International

Co-op convenience store has opened its third franchised unit this year

April 23, 2021

Co-op has opened its third franchised unit this year in St. Helens, Merseyside. The outlet, a former SPAR, has been extended and transformed into a new 3,000 sq. ft. Co-op convenience store.

 
Stephen Richards, the store owner, commented: “We’re really excited to launch Co-op’s first franchise store in the town. It looks fantastic and we are looking forward to welcoming the community into their new store, where we have worked to develop the range, choice, products and services locally that will create a really compelling offer in the community.”

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Martin Rogers, head of new channels at the Co-op, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Stephen and his store to the Co-op family, which is testament to the compelling franchise model we can offer independent retailers.

“Located in a great community and opposite a large sixth form college, this store is going to help us reach a younger demographic and help drive awareness of the Co-op values to new audiences.”

The Co-op says that customers will benefit from a comprehensive range of fresh, healthy produce, ready meals and pizzas along with an in-store bakery, award-winning wines, Fairtrade, free-from, and vegan options and a wide range of everyday grocery essentials.

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The store also offers a large food to go proposition including sandwiches, drinks, Costa Coffee and a hot food range. The Co-op adds that the local community also benefits with funding to local causes through its Co-op Membership scheme.

Co-op franchises operate in a variety of settings from universities and independent retailers to Nisa partners, and recently opened its first franchise outlet at a service station in Cornwall. The company says that it offers a full-service franchise model and a unique proposition for independent retailers.

Source: Franchise World

Co-op opens first service station convenience store in Cornwall

March 26, 2021

The Co-op has launched its first franchised store at a service station, with the opening of Co-op Cornwall Services. The new outlet is the 15th franchised store for the convenience retailer.

 
Its existing franchise estate includes independent retailers, university campuses, Nisa partners, Costcutter company-owned stores and its first partnership with a catering business, Gather & Gather. The Co-op sees the new service station store highlighting the brands breadth, diversity and agility of its franchise proposition.

The company says the new 2,000 sq. ft. Co-op store (located off the Victoria Interchange junction off the A30) will open between 7am-10pm seven days a week, support 20 local jobs and run on 100 per cent renewable electricity.

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Designed to service business travellers, commuters and tourists who pass through the area, the store offers customers an extensive food-to-go range with hot and cold sandwiches, snacks and chilled drinks. An in-store bakery will also offer pastries and Co-op’s Ever Ground Fairtrade coffee.

Martin Rogers, head of new channels at the Co-op, said: “We’re always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and our Cornwall Services store is a great example of how our franchise model can flex to work in a number of different locations to meet differing customer missions.

“The Cornwall Services’ Co-op is a fantastic looking store in a cutting-edge service station in the heart of the county and will add a real point of difference for commuters, giving them access to award-winning and quality food on the go.

“Our franchise offering has gone from strength to strength as we focus on generating mutual value with forward thinking like-minded partners and our expertise and learnings in this area are helping us access new markets all over the country.”

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Mark Upton, the store owner, said: “We’re really excited to launch the first ever Co-op in a service station site at Cornwall Services. The store has a fantastic modern look, a substantial range and competitive prices that provides a convenient solution for tourists and for local people to stop off and top-up on their commute.”

The Co-op also reports that it has recently upgraded its membership at the BFA and is now an associate member of the association, which it sees as reinforcing its brand as a credible franchise partner.

Through its full-service franchise model, the Co-op says it offers a unique proposition for independent retailers who share its values and principles to become part of the Co-op community, giving more customers access to stores, in great locations by providing award winning food and drink, conveniently.

Source: Franchise World

A new Co-op store to open at Cornwall Services on A30 near Bodmin

March 17, 2021

The Cornwall Services on the A30 is expanding with a new onsite Co-op franchise store.

The new store, near Bodmin, Cornwall due to open on March 18 is expected to create 20 jobs.

 
It is part of a £500,000 investment by Co-op in Cornwall.

Including an in-store bakery, the new Co-op will offer a wide selection of fresh produce, store cupboard essentials and ready meals including all the leading brands in addition to a selection of local regional items.

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Erica Smedley, the store manager said: “Whether it’s popping in for essential groceries, a sandwich on the move or picking up a ready meal on the way home from work, everyone will benefit from great value prices, seven days a week opening and free and easy parking.”

The chain said it will be donating dinner kits, tote bags of essential groceries, to two local charities Fair Exchange Bodmin which is a community support group set up during the pandemic and St Petrocs, the charity working to end street homelessness in Cornwall and which already has a contactless collection point at Cornwall Services.

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Iain Inchley from St Petrocs, said: “Maintaining a healthy diet for people experiencing homelessness can be difficult, but it has been even harder over the last year so food donations such as these are vital in helping people stay healthy and move forwards with their lives.”

Mark Upton, franchisee and part of the commercial team at Cornwall Services, said: “We believe the new Co-op will be a hugely popular addition for both locals and tourists alike – and being the first service station in the country to have a Co-op store on site is very exciting.”

By Olivier Vergnault

Source: In Your Area

Costcutter Supermarkets Group celebrates another successful Co-op franchise conversion

November 18, 2020

Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) reports it is celebrating a further successful franchise conversion by transforming its company-owned store in Fremington, North Devon to a Co-op store.

 
CSG’s says that its market-leading business growth transformation programme, Shopper First, proved instrumental in helping the store develop and deliver continuous sales growth by ensuring it had a strong, relevant offer for today’s convenience shopper, which saw the potential of the Fremington outlet to become a Co-op franchise.

The conversion of the 2,600 sq.ft. store to a Co-op, saw a joint £250,000 investment from both CSG and Co-op, and has created six new jobs, said CSG. The store now offers the award-winning, ethically-sourced, Fairtrade Co-op Own Brand range and focuses on fresh healthy produce, wines and ready meals, along with a wide selection of Free-From and vegan products.

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The Co-op franchise opportunity through CSG aims to offer retailers and investors across the UK the opportunity to open a Co-op store, with the combined support of both CSG and the Co-op.

Lucy Frost, director of franchise at CSG, commented: “The Fremington store marks another milestone in our exclusive convenience retail-franchise agreement with Co-op and clearly demonstrates our commitment to widening our reach and building on our joint success in convenience retailing.

“Alongside our work with investors and independent retailers to progress Co-op franchise opportunities, we have continued to explore how we can build on the successes we have seen in the transformation of our other company stores to Co-op franchises and Fremington was the obvious next choice to help us expand our franchise footprint. Previous company-owned stores have increased turnover by a minimum of 50 per cent, and we’re confident that Fremington will follow a similar path.

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“Our experience of operating in the convenience sector for over 30 years, together with the strength of the Co-op offer, which shoppers love, has created a strong franchise model. We continuing to work through an exciting pipeline of investors and retailers keen to realise the success that a Co-op franchise can offer.”

Martin Rogers, head of new channels at Co-op, added: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and our latest franchise store is a great example of how we are growing our brand to generate mutual value with a likeminded partner.

“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and every time our own brand products are purchased with a Co-op Membership card, you know you’re helping communities here and around the world. We have the capability to deliver franchising at scale and we’re confident this will continue to be an attractive proposition for potential investors.”

CSG operates four brands across the UK and the Republic of Ireland consisting of Costcutter, Mace, Simply Fresh and Supershop.

Source: Franchise World

Co-op opens first franchise store in Scotland

November 3, 2020

Community retailer, Co-op, opened its first franchise store in Scotland at Stirling University on Thursday 22 October, with a Nisa partner.

 
The store, which will be managed and run by the Nisa partner, will deliver Co-op quality products and good prices conveniently to students and the community.

With a successful track record and the proven ability to deliver franchising at scale, Stirling University is the 14th Co-op franchise store. The retailer has demonstrated the flexibility of its model by offering a number of routes to market and through a mix of partners including university unions, independent retailers and its latest partnership with catering provider Gather & Gather.

Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and this a hugely exciting opportunity to grow our brand north of the border. Our franchise stores operate in exactly the same way as a company owned store and all of our partners have access to a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with Co-op.

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“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and we are looking to generate mutual value with likeminded partners and succeed together.”

As part of its strategy to get closer to communities and to what its customers want, need and, care about, franchising extends the reach of the brand and allows Co-op to reach new markets. The model provides a unique proposition for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community.

Located in the Andrew Miller building on the university’s campus, the store will be open to serve customers between 7am and midnight daily and it will also run on 100% renewable electricity. With an ATM and Seattle coffee point, Stirling University Co-op will focus on fresh heathy produce, award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan products, Fairtrade, food-to-go and everyday essentials.

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Students who are Young Scot cardholders can pocket a 10% discount off groceries and contactless card payment limits up to £45 will be accepted, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

With safety of paramount importance Co-op has introduced strict measures since the outbreak of Covid-19 including rigorous cleanliness, social distancing, limiting the number of customers in store, protective screens at check-outs, and the wearing of visors and face-coverings. In addition, contactless card payment limits are increased to £45, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

By Fiona Briggs

Source: Retail Times

Co-op to create 1,000 jobs and open 50 new stores

September 7, 2020

Grocery chain the Co-op is opening 50 new stores and creating 1,000 new jobs this year.

The new roles come on top of the 1,000 posts it added during lockdown as demand from shoppers increased.

 
The extra jobs announced today will be spread across the new shops and 15 stores that are being enlarged.

The Co-op said its research had found that 70% of adults have relied on their local convenience store for food and other goods in recent months

The retailer also said that it had expanded its online shop.

The Co-op currently employs 55,000 workers across the UK and has 2,600 stores. The new stores will open in areas such as Wrexham, London, Poole, Leeds and Guildford.

Meanwhile up to 12 new Co-op franchise stores are also set to launch this year, including at Oxford Brookes University and Stirling University, with more university locations planned for 2021.

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“We continually look for new locations, sites which are definitively convenient in their community,” said David Roberts, managing director of Co-op Property.

He said more than 100 of the Co-op’s outlets would receive major makeovers as part of a £130m investment programme.

The chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, James Lowman, said: “This commitment to investing in stores in the coming months is testament to the importance of the convenience sector.”

The grocery sector has seen a surge in demand during the pandemic, and the big supermarket chains have also been creating jobs.

Last month, Tesco said it would create 16,000 permanent jobs after the lockdown led to “exceptional growth” in its online business.

‘Financial fallout’

While the grocery sector has done well, other parts of the economy have been hit hard by the pandemic.

It was announced on Friday that 540 workers at Nationwide Accident Repair Services have lost their jobs after the struggling business was sold to RunMyCar in a pre-packaged administration.

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As part of the deal 30 of Nationwide’s sites have been shut.

Founded in 1993 in Witney, Oxfordshire, the business operated 115 garages across the country, as well as a mobile fleet of repair vans, servicing the accident repair market for UK insurers.

But the company suffered a substantial decline in business during lockdown as millions of motorists stayed off the road.

“As with many other businesses, the group had to weather major financial fallout due to the economic impact of Covid-19, which meant that trading volumes were significantly reduced,” said Rob Lewis, joint administrator at PwC.

“Against that backdrop, the sale announced today reflects a significant positive outcome for the business, and we are especially pleased to have safeguarded 2,350 roles including apprentices, mechanics and technicians.

“Sadly we have had to make 540 staff redundant.”

Source: BBC

Co-op Group eyes same-day delivery service for franchise stores

January 4, 2020

The Co-op Group is considering expanding its same-day online delivery service to franchise stores “in the near future”, after confirming plans to roll out the service to 650 company-owned stores this year.

 
In January, Brighton, Bournemouth and Southampton will be among the first new cities to get the service, which is currently only available in London and Manchester.

The rollout over the next 12 months includes services from the Co-op’s own dedicated online shop, known as shop.coop.co.uk, which uses low-emission transport including eco-friendly bikes. By the end of the year same-day deliveries will be available in 650 stores in nearly 100 major towns and cities.

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A Co-op spokeswoman said the group would like to offer the service to franchise stores “in the near future”, with additional back office work required to make it feasible.

The Co-op launched its franchise programme to independent Nisa and Costcutter retailers last year. Somerset retailer Richard Williams became the first Nisa member to convert his store to the Co-op franchise model towards the end of last year.

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The Co-op will also expand its partnership with Deliveroo, which provides on-demand delivery of convenience grocery essentials in under 30 minutes.

Ordering through Deliveroo will be extended to 400 stores, reaching around 100 major towns and cities. Deliveroo will caters for customers who want a quick, impulse buy rather than scheduled same-day delivery, the Co-op said.

By Robin Mannering

Source: Convenience Store

First Nisa Partner Opens Co-op Franchise Store

October 30, 2019

The Co-op yesterday opened its first franchise store with a Nisa partner following the launch of its franchising scheme earlier this year.

 
The store, located in the Brunel Shopping Centre, Somerton, previously traded under the name Williams. It has now reopened under Co-op brand following a £600,000 investment that saw the introduction of an in-store bakery, coffee dispenser and hot food, alongside an extensive range of fresh and locally sourced goods.

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The Somerton store is the eighth Co-op franchise store to open following the society’s decision to licence its brand to independent retailers for the first time in order to accelerate its expansion in the convenience sector. The first seven Co-op franchise stores are said to have seen sales growth in excess of 50% following conversion.

Richard Williams, the Co-op Somerton store owner, commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to carry out such a significant investment in Somerton. Our ambition is to ensure that our store remains a local hub and a real asset for the community.”

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Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at the Co-op, added: “We’re looking for the right retailers in the right locations to share in our success and we are delighted that Richard has come on board as our first Nisa partner franchise.

“Richard’s store is the perfect example of where we can join forces with a well-established, community store, retain the catchment of the retailer whilst offering its shoppers Co-op quality and value products.”

Source: KamCity