Frobisher House

Southern Co-op has been accredited as a full member of the association

Southern Co-op has become one of the first convenience chains to be accredited as a full member of the British Franchise Association (BFA) regulatory body.

The mutual operates the Welcome franchise offering across the south and currently partners with 22 franchisees across 37 stores from Devon to Kent and into central London.

The BFA, a voluntary self-regulatory body for the UK franchise industry, carries out an accreditation process for those applying to become members, rejecting any that do not adhere to the criteria in place for ethical franchising.

If approved, members can become a provisional listing, an associate member or a full member.

“Our franchise offering has undergone significant development since we first launched in 2007 and we have been going from strength to strength over the past few years since we launched a new operating system,” said Southern Co-op franchise business manager Mike Fitton.

“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.”

BFA CEO Pip Wilkins added: “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.”

Southern Co-op’s franchise team offers retailers personalised support, with access to specialists in merchandising, artwork, planning, space and sales analysis.