The Co-op has announced plans to develop franchise stores, which will be the first time the 175-year-old supermarket has licensed 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.
Co-op franchisees will have access to a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with the retailer, and the stores will offer both branded and own brand lines.
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% 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.”
He 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.”