Southern Co-op accredited by franchise regulator

Welcome store in Southwater, West Sussex

Southern Co-op, which operates the ‘Welcome’ franchise, has become one of the first convenience store chains to be accredited as a full member of the British Franchise Association, a regulatory body.

The bfa is currently the only voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise industry, which strives to promote ethical franchising practice.

“We felt the time was right to apply to become a member of the British Franchise Association but it was not easy as there was strict and extensive criteria alongside proof of a sustained business model and the support we provide,” commented Mike Fitton​, franchise business manager at Southern Co-op.

“It is because we have a good track record of success that we were successful in our application as full members. We are delighted with the news and will now continue to strive for further successes within our new and existing partnerships.”

The bfa code of practice, which is followed by all members, is the only recognised code of practice for ethical franchising in the UK, and is based on the European Code of Ethical Franchising.

Pip Wilkins, chief executive of the bfa said: “Full membership of the bfa recognises a franchisor’s commitment to, and value of, ethical franchising practices. Southern Co-op has undergone rigorous checks against an extensive set of criteria to become a member and is testament to their unwavering commitment to best practice and their long-term investment in ethical franchising.”

First launched in 2007, Southern Co-op’s Welcome fascia currently has 37 stores run by 22 franchisees. The consumer co-operative has great year in 2019, with 12 new stores joining the fascia.