A community store in Holborn, London is bringing a new model of ownership to the UK, which will see customers offered a discount on their shopping in return for a few hours' volunteer work each month.

Apart from permanent shift managers, The People's Supermarket will be staffed entirely by volunteers. They pay a £25 annual fee to join the scheme for which they receive a 10% discount on their shopping and have a say in the management of the store, including what is stocked on the shelves.

The store has been set up by chef Arthur Potts Dawson and former retail consultant Kate Wickes-Bull. "The People's Supermarket is for everybody; it's all about good food for and by the people," Kate told C-Store.

"We will be stocking quality brands, but we want to offer choice within that and our aim is to help people to make informed choices about food decisions on health, sustainability and provenance without coming across as the food police."

The volunteer staff will be trained in retailing skills, but will also give healthy eating and ethical shopping advice to customers. The store also has a room set aside for community activities.

With only £50,000 available to set up the store, much of its equipment has been donated or sourced cheaply.

"We're working with Booker who have been incredibly supportive," Kate said. "We're stocking most of its top 500 lines, but in many cases we offer a healthier or more sustainable alternative as well."

She added: "It is also a fantastic way of getting a community that in the past has been quite polarised to work together. One of the many differences between the People's Supermarket and the big supermarket chains is that a different team works here each day, and each person brings an individual touch to the job."

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