Community retailer, Co-op, opened its first franchise store in Scotland at Stirling University on Thursday 22 October, with a Nisa partner.
The store, which will be managed and run by the Nisa partner, will deliver Co-op quality products and good prices conveniently to students and the community.
With a successful track record and the proven ability to deliver franchising at scale, Stirling University is the 14th Co-op franchise store. The retailer has demonstrated the flexibility of its model by offering a number of routes to market and through a mix of partners including university unions, independent retailers and its latest partnership with catering provider Gather & Gather.
Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and this a hugely exciting opportunity to grow our brand north of the border. Our franchise stores operate in exactly the same way as a company owned store and all of our partners have access to a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with Co-op.
“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and we are looking to generate mutual value with likeminded partners and succeed together.”
As part of its strategy to get closer to communities and to what its customers want, need and, care about, franchising extends the reach of the brand and allows Co-op to reach new markets. The model provides a unique proposition for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community.
Located in the Andrew Miller building on the university’s campus, the store will be open to serve customers between 7am and midnight daily and it will also run on 100% renewable electricity. With an ATM and Seattle coffee point, Stirling University Co-op will focus on fresh heathy produce, award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan products, Fairtrade, food-to-go and everyday essentials.
Students who are Young Scot cardholders can pocket a 10% discount off groceries and contactless card payment limits up to £45 will be accepted, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.
With safety of paramount importance Co-op has introduced strict measures since the outbreak of Covid-19 including rigorous cleanliness, social distancing, limiting the number of customers in store, protective screens at check-outs, and the wearing of visors and face-coverings. In addition, contactless card payment limits are increased to £45, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.