Sales and membership at The People's Supermarket has sky-rocketed following the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary series on the store.

The London outlet, which rewards its customers with a 10% discount on their shopping in return for four hours volunteer work each month, opened last summer with just a handful of members (C-Store, June 11).

However, after the first episode of The People's Supermarket, 44 new members signed up overnight, while turnover rose by 20%, co-owner and former retail consultant Kate Wickes-Bull told C-Store.

Just under 500 local people now volunteer at The People's Supermarket, which prides itself on its ability to respond to local demand almost instantaneously.

"We are positively sprinting," Kate added. "Our average basket spend midweek is now up to £5, while on weekends it's hitting the £10 mark. Yesterday a customer came in looking for Jerusalem artichokes, which we didn't have. However, I was able to source them from a local market and had them for him to buy the very next morning the supermarkets simply can't compete with that, and the customers are thrilled.

"People just fall in love with the concept when they find out what it's all about, and the TV series has been fantastic for getting our message out," she added.

Last week more than 200 new lines were added to the store's range an eclectic mix of ethical goods from small producers and key branded products from Booker and P&H.

"We're making it easier for customers to make healthier, more sustainable choices, but if it's low price points they want we can offer them that, too. For example, we now have three different types of baked beans: Happy Shopper, Heinz and Suma Wholefoods. There really is something for everyone."

Read more
London locals set up a store to share (16 June 2010)

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