Social supermarket group Community Shop has disclosed plans to take its social enterprise into more communities across the UK.
Community Shop launched in 2013 to redistribute surplus food and now has four stores, in Goldthorpe and Athersley, in South Yorkshire, Lambeth, in south-east London, and Grimsby, in Lincolnshire.
Each shop is in an area of “complex deprivation” and open to local people who receive welfare support and who want to make positive change in their lives.
Revenue raised from the donated supply chain surplus is used to help members who shop there with debt advice, employability skills and budgeting to help them get their lives back on track.
The social enterprise is now looking to the North West for its next target region before opening in other communities across the UK.
Community Shop has exceeded £1m annual turnover and Social Enterprise UK says it has secured its place in the top 10% of social enterprises in the UK.
Community Shop has appointed Dr Clive Black, a well-known retail expert, as a non-executive director, who is expected to help bolster relationships across the food industry in a bid to educate retailers, manufacturers and brands about the “huge potential” in their surplus stock.
Dr Black is co-founder, director and head of research at Shore Capital Markets, the UK investment bank that provides market analysis and brokerage services to growing companies in the UK and Ireland and he has pedigree contacts in the supply chain.
Dr Black said: “Community Shop is an inspirational organisation run by inspirational people for inspirational communities, the latter of whom have often fallen on tough times. The organisation acts as a force for good; from the reduction of food waste, to enabling members to help themselves to get their lives back on track.”
John Marren, founder and chairman, believes that a continued deepening and widening of partnerships across the food industry will be critical to delivering the growth plan.
Marren said: “We are delighted to bring Dr Clive Black onto Community Shop’s Board, as we plan for the next phase of growth for our social enterprise.
“We are committed to serving the food industry and unlocking the full potential in surplus stock, to support deprived communities across the UK. With the right partners on board, and through cross-industry collaboration, I know we can achieve this.”