Convenience store, Co-op, has taken home the Emerging Franchisor accolade at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards 2021.

2021 marks the 32nd year of this leading bfa hsbc franchising award, a flagship event for the UK franchising industry. The glittering event took place on 30 November at The Vox in Birmingham, where the UK’s best franchisors and franchisees were celebrated.

The UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, Co-op has more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores. Alongside this, it also specialises in funeral services, insurance and legal services.

The Emerging Franchisor category celebrates franchisors that have shown a passion for their brand and provided continuous support to franchisees. Co-op battled it out against a record number of entries to secure the accolade for its unwavering support to franchisees. This included providing intensive training as well as a ‘buddy stores’ initiative.

Commenting on the win, Kirsty Rushby, Co-op franchisor, said:

“The team has worked so hard, pushing boundaries and stepping outside comfort zones over the past year, so to be recognised as an emerging franchisor is truly an honour. It’s a massive celebration of the team’s dedication to the development of the franchise and we are incredibly proud of everyone who has played a part in getting us to this point.”

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, said:

“Over the past year, Co-op has shown incredible growth, having started 2021 with 14 franchise stores. The franchise team is getting stronger every month and this award win is a real testament to the hard work and resilience they’ve shown during a period that certainly tested the metal of all UK retailers. The Co-op anticipates that they will end 2021 with an impressive 42 stores. Congratulations to the whole team for a well-deserved win.”

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said:

“The world of retail faced extreme levels of pressure over the past year but through it all, Co-op has shown real growth, highlighting the many benefits franchising can afford. Their franchisee training and buddy store scheme has been a real asset to Co-op franchisees and we wanted to show them those efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed. The team’s dedication and resilience have been admirable and we congratulate them for all their hard work.”

For more information on the British Franchise Association and to see the full list of winners, please visit

May 2023 issue

2023 A1 Buyers Guide