Last year we started to trial a Co-op franchise model, to help us find new ways to grow our business and open more Co-ops, more quickly. Franchise means we license our brand to another retailer and support them with service, tools and training to help them grow their business with us.

We’ve worked really hard behind the scenes to build our franchise model the Co-op way and have three franchise stores open already (including Whitkirk, pictured), reporting sales increases of over 50%! Next week we’ll open our fourth store, in Leeds University Students’ Union, which we’re really excited about. Leeds is a shining example of how franchise will help us get Co-op into places where we couldn’t have got to before, and where we can create real value. It’s a great new partnership with the Union; as well as creating employment opportunities for students, it’ll help us really reach out to the younger generation with the quality, value and values that are so important to them.

And we’ve reached a big milestone this week, as we’ve just launched our franchise offer to retailers across the country through our new external recruitment website. It means we’re actively talking to retailers to grow our franchise proposition, finding the right independent retailers in the right locations, and widening the reach of Co-op products.

I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved so far; we’ve created a unique opportunity for independent retailers, who share the Co-op values and principles, to become part of the Co-op community. Together we’ll find new locations that help us to get closer to our customers –  bringing our award-winning food to new places, and attracting new customers and members. I’m excited to see how it will help us grow our business for the future.

Martin Rogers
Head of New Channels

Pictured: Dawn Whitmore, Store Manager of Whitkirk’s Co-op (a Co-op franchise)

 

Join the conversation! 9 Comments

  1. It would be really good to see this roll out with BEST ONE, BEST SAVER..
    Are the franchise opportunity also available to independent owner or do you have to be part of a large chain.
    Is there scope for a 24 hour co-op? why not bring co-op own “greggs” style bakery inside store and have it open 24 hours.

  2. If we can make these franchise colleagues (who aren’t on our payroll) staff discount holders, why cant we do the same with our cleaners? At the moment our cleaners are just put in a shop and told to clean it, Mitie essentially forgets they exist then. It’d be nice to give them a bit extra.

    • Steve, Hi

      thanks for the question. To be clear, franchise staff don’t currently qualify for staff discount, but co-op colleagues will do in franchise stores. This is precisely because as you say, discount works via Payroll.

      As regards cleaners, I think our procurement and FM teams would be able to better answer.

      thanks
      Martin

  3. Great way of getting our brand and great products out in to more communities. A great way forward for our business.

  4. Just wondering if this is likely to be an option for funeralcare in the future?

  5. Hi William,

    Thanks for the question.

    Yes, colleague discount will apply, as will NUS.

    Many thanks
    Martin

  6. Great to see things going well!

  7. I understand the 5% 1% community awards will operate in franchised stores but will staff 10% discount cards?

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Food, Property, Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities

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