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By working with Southern Co-Op, franchisees such as Dilan Patel have grown sales with a professional offer
As Southern Co-op Welcome franchisees, retailers benefit from 150 years of retail experience and commitment to local communities.
Average store size: Over 2,000sq ft (minimum 1,600sq ft)
Average weekly turnover: At least £25,000 per week (excluding services)
Number of UK retail members: 17 franchisees with 28 franchise stores
Cost of joining: One-off £2,500 joining fee, then a weekly franchise fee
By working in partnership with Southern Co-op, you can access the best of both worlds – all Co-op own-label products, promotions and uniforms, as well as opportunities to offer locally sourced products to give your store a truly local point of difference and still enjoy your independence.
Southern Co-op franchisees benefit from great choice, excellent fresh food quality, ethical standards and ongoing product development. They offer a comprehensive support package with regular visits from a designated operations manager, who works with retailers to help grow their businesses and sales.
As an independent co-operative operating across the south of England, Southern Co-op focuses on ‘quality over quantity’ when it comes to its franchise partners.
Dilan Patel has been working with the group since last April. “We have grown our sales with a professional offer and the freedom to run our store how we want,” he says.
“I’ve been a Welcome franchisee with Southern Co-op for over 12 years. The brand is in partnership with Southern Co-op, an independent regional co-operative society. For me, it’s the best by far of the convenience store groups, in terms of margin, sales, discipline, and especially the quality of the products.
“Welcome allows me to bring operational disciplines to my store while allowing me to keep my independence. They send in mystery shoppers, and you have to score 92% on their list of criteria – things such as availability, how many of the key 100 bestselling lines you have out, cleanliness, food allergy rules, how you treat your staff and legal compliance.
“They also help with the professionalism of your staff. They have an e-learning course and every member of staff can go through a training process, tailored to their particular position, before they can begin.”
Brand recognition: “Southern Co-op works very closely with Co-op Group, so many of our units and products are the same as you’d find in a Co-op store. It gives you this strong reputable brand that helps build trust with customers.”
Flexibility: “We have no restrictions on what Co-op ranged products we can stock, so are free to configure the store to suit the area. We’ve stepped up our range to offer Co-op Irresistible products and economy alcohol lines, such as WKD.”
Start-up support: “I started the business in April and they provided fantastic support in that process. I was put in touch with a current franchisee and given in-store training. Their team was also always on the other end of the line.”