With retail experience of 150 years, we are a large, regional co-operative with an understanding of how important it is for franchisees to have access to award-winning products and still keep their independence.
Southern Co-op is an independent co-operative and we operate just under 200 company owned convenience food stores across the south of England. We also offer franchisees the opportunity to partner under our ‘Welcome’ fascia. Interested franchisees will need to find a potential site and we can advise on its suitability as a Welcome franchise.
With a commitment to quality over quantity, our dedicated franchise team works with single and multiple store operators across the south from Bristol to Kent and into central London. These include petrol forecourts and stores which range from 1,600 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft.
Initial and ongoing investment in colleague training is crucial. Welcome franchisees’ store teams have access to a full suite of online e-learning training modules such as health and safety, customer care, food handling, data protection, and challenge 25, for a small cost per person per year.
Our franchise operations managers are all former store managers and will get involved with shop fitters and all elements of new store opening. Once open all new stores have a 12 week training programme with our franchise operations managers in store at least three days a week.
We look after all the EPOS installation and cover the cost of two data lines plus the ongoing line rental to ensure you always have connectivity. Each franchisee has access to our Operations and EPOS manuals, in addition to our own intranet system that reduces emails.
After 12 weeks, your ongoing franchise operations manager will visit you every four weeks or as required if you have any other requirements. We are also available each weekend and are always there to help you develop your business and sales.
A franchisees main daily tasks will be ensuring their customers are given the best service, availability and shopping experience possible. We firmly believe this can only be done by great team work, training and recognition. Our team help with these areas on every visit.
Once the franchisee has these areas covered, this gives him/her time to start looking at local suppliers and products that will help build his/her business further and show their support for the local area. This can be a great point of difference over the larger retail chains.
The next stage will be getting involved in the local community. This again is a great point of difference and gives the franchisee the chance to really understand what is important to his/her current and potential customers. We can and do help with all the above. Sometimes you just need someone else to visit who can see the store differently and that’s what we try and do with our franchisees.