A deal to open Coffee Republic franchises in Midcounties Co-op food stores has been agreed.
The society has launched a store in Walsall town centre as part of a regeneration scheme of the Old Square Shopping Centre, which will host the first Coffee Republic franchise.
Midcounties will be opening a total of 10 Coffee Republic cafés in its stores by the end of 2016, as part of the deal a new Fairtrade coffee will be available in all 10 locations. The collaboration is the latest in a line of partnerships that the Midcounties Co-operative has launched in the past months, following similar agreements with high street retailers including Bon Marche, Brantano and the Works.
The Walsall store is funded and developed by Walsall Council as part of a multi-million pound regeneration project to attract further investment in the town centre. The store opened earlier this month at a ceremony featuring Walsall Council leader Mike Bird. To mark the opening, the 7,000 sq. ft. store initiated the campaign Free Fruit Friday, which will see any child visiting the store in a uniform receive a free apple or banana for a month.
Midcounties staff also presented a £5,000 cheque to St. Giles Walsall Hospice, having raised the fund collaboratively across the Midcounties sites in Walsall.
Commenting on the launch, Oliver Holden, store manager at the Midcounties Co-operative Food in Walsall, said: “We’re committed to investing in Walsall and have identified a demand for a convenience store in the town centre. We’re proud to be the first store to partner with Coffee Republic and be involved with such an excited project to refresh the customer offerings in the area.
“We’re pleased to say that the store has created 30 new jobs, and it was great to welcome along Walsall councillors and children from local schools to help us celebrate the occasion.”
Walsall Council leader Mike Bird, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the Midcounties Co-operative investment in Walsall once again. The food store will give shoppers an alternative to the offer already available in the town centre.
“The redevelopment of this part of the Old Square Shopping Centre has been a huge investment by the Council and a great boost to the town. Primark is a real success – footfall in the area has risen significantly and I’m delighted to see the Midcounties Co-operative adding another piece of the jigsaw to the regeneration of our town.”
Deputy leader, Councillor Adrian Andrew, added: “It’s excellent news. We have delivered million of pounds of investment in Walsall town centre and scores of jobs created with many more projects in the pipeline. This shows that Walsall town centre is a place to invest in and do business and I’d like to thank both the Midcounties Co-operative and Primark for showing faith in our town and contributing to its success.