The Co-op has signed an exclusive deal with the National Union of Students (NUS) to be the grocery retail store franchise partner on NUS member locations across UK universities and colleges. The Co-op already has four franchise stores operating on university sites, including Leeds and Newcastle, and this deal now potentially could see the Co-op brand accessing a student population of up to seven million across NUS affiliated locations.
Targeting Generation Z
This move by the Co-op is part of a concerted push by the retailer to build increased traction with younger shoppers, and especially those of the post millennial generation (roughly those born in the decade between 1995 and 2005), otherwise known as Generation Z. The last few years has also seen the Co-op actively seeking to engage this age cohort through its pop-up stores across a range of UK summer music festivals. With ethics an increasing influence on store, and product, choice the Co-op believes it is well placed to leverage its well-established credentials with younger shoppers and build resonances with higher value customers of the future.
Enhanced student discount for Co-op + NUS membership
Stores operated on NUS sites will automatically enable student members of Co-op to benefit from the 5% discount on Co-op branded products, but holders of the NUS' TOTUM card will also be able to access an additional 10% discount off all their shop. Then in additon Co-op cardholders will also be able to accrue the 1% contribution to local causes, a scheme that has returned some £40m to 16,000 local organisations in the last three years.
Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels, Co-op commented:
'Young people are hugely important to us and we look forward to working closely with NUS members and serving campus communities up and down the UK. The new stores will be run and managed independently by individual NUS members and will give access to a tailored range of 2,500 great value and quality Co-op own brand products, with a wide range of Fairtrade, free-from and vegan options. This agreement builds on the retailer's strategy to get closer to communities and engage the next generation in the Co-op difference.'