Newcastle University Student Union has joined forces with the Co-op in a move which will see the retailer’s first franchise store open in the North East later this year.
The agreement will see the existing students’ union store extended and transformed with a fresh new-look in time for Fresher’s this September.
The new-look store will be managed and run by Newcastle University Students’ Union, providing employment opportunities for students.
The new 2,500sq ft store will offer Co-op’s full range of fresh, healthy foods, extended vegan and free-from offerings and a wide range of Fairtrade products.
Compostable carriers are available for customers who forget their bag-for-life. The not-for-profit bags – priced at 5p – offer an environmentally friendly alternative to the single-use plastic bags they replace. The store also includes a free refill tap for water.
A funding boost for local causes is also on the cards through the Co-op’s Membership scheme. Members receive a 5% reward when buying own-brand products, with the Co-op donating a further 1% to causes in the area.
Graham Hattam, Newcastle University Students’ Union director of commercial, said: “We are excited to announce the introduction of a Co-op store into our Students’ Union and bring the first franchise store in the North East to our very own campus. This initiative supports our focus on providing healthy, affordable, fresh food and drink for students on campus, and complements our overarching objectives around enhancing the student experience. NUSU has been awarded ‘Students’ Union of the Year’ for the last two years consecutively, and a huge part of this success has been driven through delivering these types of initiatives which directly address the wants and needs of our students“.
Martin Rogers, Co-op’s head of new channels, said: “This is an important development for Co-op. Our Franchise stores provide an exciting opportunity to grow our brand and create value for our partners and communities. At the heart of the Co-op it is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference. In line with other work we are doing with Students’ Unions across the country Newcastle Union is a natural progression, with the new store having the choice, ease and convenience tailored to serve campus needs. We look forward to working closely with Newcastle Students Union and serving the campus community.”
The latest Co-op franchise store to open was on Kent University campus last month, which followed the opening of a franchise store on Leeds University Campus earlier this year (February).