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    Industry expert welcomed to the Welcome team

    Richard Scrimgeour

    Southern Co-op has said “welcome” to an industry expert joining its franchise team as it widens its capacity and reach for new partnership opportunities.

    The independent co-operative’s Welcome team has expanded the number of its franchise operations colleagues with the newest member having over 20 years’ experience in the industry.

    Richard Scrimgeour, the new Franchise Operations Manager, has previously held senior positions with Nisa and Bestway.

    Richard’s new role reflects the growing number of franchised Welcome stores being opened by new and existing franchisees around the country.

    Southern Co-op’s Franchise Business Manager, Mike Fitton, said: “We are continuing to grow the number of our Welcome stores at a controlled pace – making sure all our franchisees have access to strong support and our experienced guidance wherever they are located.

    “We’ve proved how successful our model can be to our existing franchisees who we are delighted to see choosing to rebrand their wider portfolios as Welcome in partnership with Southern Co-op bringing the Welcome brand to many new areas.

    “We are delighted to have Richard on board as he brings with him strong retail knowledge and experience which can only strengthen our existing franchise offering.”

    The Welcome franchise estate now has 73 stores, including a recent opening in Greasby, in the Wirral, in May, working with dedicated franchise support team members.

    The Welcome format has proved very flexible and current franchise stores are a mix of neighbourhood, forecourts and village locations. All give retailers access to big brands, an operation with ethical values combined with expert guidance to drive sales and margin.

    “Hearing about the support package available for Welcome franchisees made my decision to join Welcome a very easy one,” said Richard Scrimgeour.

    “I am looking forward to working closely with and supporting the Welcome franchisees, and to help grow the number of franchisees as Welcome expands its coverage further.”

    Welcome franchisees can choose to implement recommended store formats based on consumer insights or adapt plans using their own entrepreneurial flair. Franchisees are also encouraged to source products from local suppliers.

    Other support available includes marketing, planograms, store development, space and sales analysis, a full EPOS and back office system, electronic shelf edge labels, dedicated support from an operations manager, and access to a support desk from 6am-8pm, seven days a week.

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