British consumer co-operative Co-op has partnered with The Original Factory Shop (TOFS), a discount department store chain, to open concessions in Co-op stores.
Over the next 15 months, the companies plan to open up to 30 concessions to sell TOFS products, including clothing, pets, electrical and homeware items.
The concessions will also provide a party shop service and click and collect service.
The move is part of Co-op’s strategy to provide additional in-store services for shoppers while supporting TOFS’ expansion plans.
Co-op Innovation and Format director Mark Matthews said: “Co-op is committed to operating at the heart of local life and creating value in our communities.
“We are working to develop new ways to provide added services and choice [and], conveniently, The Original Factory Shop complements our fantastic range of food, groceries and every-day essentials.
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“It attracts new and different customers and supports our work to create a compelling offer to serve our members and customers locally.”
The partnership is part of TOFS’ plan to open 50 stores and create 400 jobs over the next three years.
TOFS concessions typically each cover around 2,300ft² and generate ten local jobs.
Co-op stores to feature the concessions include its outlets in Hereford, Plympton, Stornoway, Whitby, Prudhoe, Shotts, Kippax, Cranleigh, Machynlleth and Lampeter.
TOFS managing director Phil Briggs said: “We’re really excited to be working with the Co-op.
“It marks the coming together of two great community retailers and is testament to the importance of convenience stores and the role that these shops play in local life.
“It means that many local communities will get to discover TOFS’ great bargains in a whole new way.”
This month, Co-op opened a store at Keele University in an expansion of its university franchise store chain.
The store is managed and operated by the university’s Students’ Union and was announced by Co-op in May.