The Co-operative now offers franchise opportunities of any scale to existing or planned convenience store owners who want to benefit from the company’s established brand
Food & Drink
The Co-operative (or Co-op) franchise has a great deal of experience providing its customers with high-quality products and its approach to success is very much based on teams working closely together to innovate and achieve great results. The Co-op franchise stores sell a variety of branded and own-brand products. As well as selling products from supermarkets, Co-op franchises also offer their customers the opportunity to benefit from the Co-op’s membership scheme, granting a five per cent discount on Co-op brand items, and an additional one per cent portion is given to local community projects.
Co-op franchisees enjoy all the advantages of a complete service model and will receive full support and training from the Co-op head office as they start to build their new business.
At present Co-op can develop franchising models of any scale, which means that stores can open in previously unexplored locations to find new customers and markets. The rollout of the wider franchise network has been based upon an extensive trial featuring a few stores. This early trial was hugely successful and the profits soared instantaneously thanks to the Co-operative food brand.
Franchisees will need to meet certain criteria before they can start their own Co-op business. First, they must already operate a store with weekly sales of at least £20,000 (not including VAT and Lotto, Paypoint and Post Office sales). The store must cover a sales area of over 2,000 square foot and have a warehouse of more than 800 square foot.
Co-operative food franchisees get a store design similar to the mainstream Co-op brand in terms of space, style, layout and merchandising. The package also includes Co-op EPOS and behind-the-scenes services, automated replenishment and planograms for your store. Franchisees benefit from a seven-day delivery service and a 24/7 helpdesk service.
Additionally, Co-operative franchisees can expect account management to help them grow, as well as Co-op membership and community support, which helps them to make a positive difference to their local community.
Being part of the Co-operative food brand will give you access to an excellent, ethically-sourced, fairly-traded, own-brand product range, which plays an instrumental role in greatly increased profits and long-term growth.
Franchisees also benefit from the combined knowledge and experience of the Co-op’s retail operations and the wholesale business of Nisa. This means that franchisees gain from this combined expertise for food supplies.
Co-operative food helps its franchisees in other ways, too. For instance, it also introduces the idea of category management and shopper missions when considering the range of products. This approach helps franchisees to understand consumer behaviour and choices. It also helps franchisees to benefit from customised data and market analysis to ensure that their stores are giving the customers what they want.
The Co-op has long prided itself on its ethical approach to business and so potential franchisees must be committed to the company’s principles. They include self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity, solidarity. The Co-operative is an open, participatory organisation and shows cooperation and concern for the local community.
Co-operative Food is long established and banks are likely to look upon such a renowned franchise in a favourable light. In fact, the support from head office will go beyond getting the finances required: premises will undergo a refit to be transformed into a Co-op store, which Co-operative Food will work with retailers on and contribute elements – principally the EPOS and Co-op fascia and branding. More important for the company is location, and choosing partners who are aligned with Co-op values and principles.
Franchisees will need to have £100,000 of liquid capital for the venture.
Submit your interest today by clicking the enquiry form on this page. Once you’ve submitted interest, a member of the Co-op franchise team will be in touch to discuss further and ensure it is the right fit for both Co-op and the partner. At this point they are more interested in retailers with existing sites or sites they are looking to buy.
Co-operative Food provides all the necessary training you will need to develop your business in a sustainable manner. This will include full training on how to operate a Co-operative food franchise, such as the technology for looking at staff rotas, absences and contracts or how to record and use sales data in the store for efficiency and profitability. There will also be guidance on touch screen technology used in the store and how staff can benefit from its use. Much of the training is delivered online, but while it is comprehensive, franchisees will also be expected to show initiative as they develop the business with an ongoing ability to train themselves in a context of support from the operations teams.
The returns are likely to be good in the first year of operations. Co-operative food has seen at least a 50 per cent uplift on sales on the three franchise stores that it has launched as part of the trial.
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