The number of convenience retailers using reclaimed shipping containers as trading sites is on the rise.

The containers, which can accommodate ventilation, insulation and refrigeration, can be leased, or bought from a variety of companies for as little as £1,500.

Last week saw the opening of a new community store in Kingsbury, Somerset, inside a reclaimed 8x20ft shipping container.

Establishing the store in a shipping container meant it could be open for business in a matter of weeks, as opposed to the months it would have taken to build a new store, manager Sue Boer told Convenience Store. At less than £20,000 for the purchase of the container and to fit out, it was also a far cheaper option, she added.

“It’s not beautiful outside so we’ve added some plants and hanging baskets, but inside it’s like a Tardis. We’ve got a range of about 300 different locally sourced products, and the villagers are thrilled,” she added.

The container had previously been used as a store for villagers in Frensham, Surrey, until enough money was raised to build a permanent structure.

In January, a new village store in Ide Hill, Kent, opened in a shipping container, while in Bolton, convenience store retailer David Bridge is using a reclaimed container as a secondary stockroom.

The Plunkett Foundation welcomed the growing phenomenon. “This is another example of retailers using their initiative and resourcefulness to best serve their communities. We’ve seen many original and unusual shop premises across the UK,” said spokeswoman Katherine Darling.