The Co-operative Group has confirmed its desire to develop a major franchise operation by advertising for a head of franchising.

In an advert in The Grocer it is seeking an experienced senior retail professional to take up the post based at its Manchester headquarters and offered a salary around £75,000 plus benefits.

The advert notes that the society inherited a 29-strong franchise operation when it took over Alldays in October 2002, and said the head of franchising would be expected to develop an operation “to drive our market penetration deep into the independent sector”.

The advert said: “In a consolidating market, we believe there is a role for supporting independent businesses in order to maintain local communities and genuine diversity of choice.”

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