How can I become a franchisee?
We make the process of becoming a franchisee as simple as possible but there are certain things we need to check to make sure your site is suitable.
Becoming a Co-op Franchisee
There are three main ways to become a Co-op Franchisee. You can convert your current store into a Co-op, re-purpose another premises or build a new premises.
Our focus is on high quality Co-op Franchise stores and this means only the very best opportunities will make it through. It has to be the right store in the right location with the right franchisee.
Your property will undergo a detailed selection process, with over 2,500 stores we know where Co-op stores work well. We will review the store catchment, demographics, location, competition, site visibility, accessibility and car parking, store size and shape. If your store makes it through the process you can be confident we believe it will be a good Co-op Franchise store.
What do we look for?
Typically the store needs to be serving a residential catchment immediately around the store and be positioned with good visibility on a main route picking up the main traffic flows. There are exceptions to this such as highly urban locations where people are mainly on foot, transport hubs or a university campus. Larger supermarkets in villages may well lack visibility but they are the centre of the community and often located in the main car park. We will review your catchment in detail.
Typically for a convenience store we would be looking for stores with a sales area of at least 2,000 sq ft and ideally 2,500 to 3,000sq ft. There may be exceptions in unique locations and for larger stores we can extend up to 12,000 sq ft.
The operation of the stores’ back of house is as important as the sales area. The store has to be set-up to operate with a high fresh food sales mix and be easy to operate in a legally compliant way. For stores with an in-store bakery we look for around 1,000 sq ft although it is possible for some of this to be externally located. We will review every aspect of your store.
Successful Co-op Franchise stores require good access which ideally means a dedicated car park that is easy to reach. We recognise this is not always possible so, as a minimum, it needs to have good on street parking available. There are exceptions such as highly urban areas where the majority of customers are on foot.
The location, size, brand, quality and accessibility of competition in your stores catchment is a really important factor in our assessments. Our location planning team will complete a full analysis of your store catchment when reviewing your store.
It is important to us that we have the right people owning and operating Co-op Franchise stores that share our core beliefs and values as you will be representing our brand. To make sure this happens we will run some financial and ethical background checks on prospective franchisees.
More from Co-op
Learn about the team responsible for buying, selling and looking after our buildings, finding the right places to open new food stores and funeral homes.
If a franchise model isn’t right for your business but you’d benefit from wholesale supply, including access to the Co-op own-brand range, contact our colleagues at Nisa wholesale.
What launch support do franchisees receive?
We will support you and your main contractor every step of the way through the development of your franchise store to Co-op standards. Full immersion and training will give you all the knowledge you need to successfully operate a Co-op store, with support in recruiting your store team, and training for all your colleagues to get your store launch ready. Support does not end with the launch of your store and you will have intensive guidance in the weeks after launch to help you fully embed the ways of working.
What ongoing support do franchisees receive?
We will support and coach you in how to get the most out of your store by using the systems and tools available to you. We will conduct customer focused audits to support you in maintaining standards and processes that will deliver a great experience for customers and maximise your return. You’ll be part of the Co-op Change Plan meaning you benefit from our ongoing innovation and simplification of our processes.
What is the term of the franchise agreement?
This runs initially for a term of 10 years with a right to renew for another 10 year term.
What franchise fees and royalty fees are payable?
There is no initial upfront franchise fee or on-going marketing fee or any charges for the IT hardware and support that is provided as part of the franchise model.
How much liquid capital do I initially need to invest?
Each store is costed individually and this can vary according to size, location and condition, but generally we would expect the franchisee to show liquid funds.