Co-op has announced plans to open a new store at Newcastle University as part of its plans to launch dozens of supermarkets across the UK.
The mass retailer will be working hand-in-hand with Newcastle University Students' Union to revamp their on-campus store, transforming it into a 2,500 square foot space filled with a new selection of healthy produce, an extended vegan range and Fairtrade products.
The store will be the very first franchise to open in the North East, creating dozens of new jobs and employment opportunities for students and locals.
Compostable carriers will be available at 5p per bag, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic bags.
The store will also offer a free refill water to save up on plastic bottles.
Through Co-op's Membership scheme, customers can receive a 5% reward when buying store-brand products - and 1% of payments go straight to funding local causes.
Graham Hattam, Newcastle University Students’ Union Director of Commercial, said: “We are excited to announce the introduction of a Co-op store into our Students’ Union and bring the first franchise store in the North East to our very own campus.
"This initiative supports our focus on providing healthy, affordable, fresh food and drink for students on campus, and complements our overarching objectives around enhancing the student experience.
"NUSU has been awarded ‘Students’ Union of the Year’ for the last two years consecutively, and a huge part of this success has been driven through delivering these types of initiatives which directly address the wants and needs of our students“.
Martin Rogers, Co-op’s Head of New Channels, said: “This is an important development for Co-op. Our Franchise stores provide an exciting opportunity to grow our brand and create value for our partners and communities.
"At the heart of the Co-op it is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference. In line with other work we are doing with Students’ Unions across the country Newcastle Union is a natural progression, with the new store having the choice, ease and convenience tailored to serve campus needs.
"We look forward to working closely with Newcastle Students Union and serving the campus community.”
Co-op opened a franchise store at the University of Kent in July and another store at Leeds University earlier on in February.
Last year, Co-op announced plans to open 100 new stores in 2019, focusing on key city centre locations, transport hubs, university campuses and residential developments.
One-third of new stores will be built in London and the South East, creating up to 1,200 new jobs.
In addition to new stores, the retail will be renovating and revamping a further 200 of its stores.
For more information about Co-op Membership benefits, visit https://www.coop.co.uk/