// Co-op will launch franchise stores this year for the first time ever
// Franchised stores will offer customers the same access to the Co-op’s membership scheme
// The stores will also provide a 5% reward on any purchase of own-brand lines
The Co-op has announced plans to launch franchise stores, the first time the grocer would pursue this in its 175 year history.
The supermarket said it planned to create “a significant number of new Co-op branded stores” under its franchise offering, and will license its brand to independent retailers as part of its progressive expansion program to open around 100 stores this year.
This proposition for independent retailers who “share Co-op’s values and principles” will allow them to become part of the Co-op franchise, in addition to having access to the grocer’s own brand product which is currently available in 4000 stores following its acquisition of Nisa.
Franchised stores will offer customers the same access to the Co-op’s membership scheme, which provides a five per cent reward on any purchase of own-brand lines, while one per cent of purchases will be donated to charity.
“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,” head of new channels Martin Rogers said.
“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.”