The Midcounties Co-operative has launched a new franchise partnership with coffee chain Coffee Republic.

As reported in Talking Retail, the deal has seen Coffee Republic outlets open this month at Co-operative stores in Walsall, West Midlands, and Highworth, Swindon, with the company hoping to open eight more by the end of the year.

Coffee Republic is said to be targeting 20 new franchise openings per year at larger stores of the Midcounties Co-operative.

Phil Ponsonby, group general manager at the Midcounties Co-operative Food, said: "Coffee Republic is a company which shares our values of providing a quality service to customers, and we are pleased to announce this new partnership as we continue our strategy of introducing outlets into our larger supermarkets.

"This agreement will benefit the local communities in which we serve by providing a welcoming environment in which to meet, as we look to further enhance the shopping experience offered in our stores."

Richard Shakespeare, head of franchising at Coffee Republic, said: "We pride ourselves on offering a friendly, relaxing and welcoming environment, and we believe that our partnership with the Midcounties Co-operative aligns well with this philosophy.

"The opening of these 10 new supermarket cafés forms a fundamental part of our strategy to increase our reach across the UK by focusing on new franchises, and we look forward to inviting shoppers to join the Coffee Republic Revolution."