A new social supermarket offering surplus stock at discounted prices has been piloted in the UK.
Situated in Goldthorpe, Barnsley, the Community Shop is a subsidiary of the UK’s largest commercial redistributor of surplus food and goods, Company Shop, and will offer surplus food and products at up to 70% less than normal prices.
The Community Shop is being supported by major retailers, brands and manufacturers including Asda, Morrissons, The Co-operative Food, M&S, Tesco, Mondelez, Ocado, Tetley, Young’s and Muller, who are all diverting surplus stock to the store. The surpluses have been created by forecasting errors, seasonal promotions and packaging faults. All stock in the store is in date and the Company Shop holds food safety accreditation.
Membership of the pilot store will be open to people in the postcode and are in receipt of welfare support. Members will also be offered debt, budgeting and CV advice. It is hoped that more Community Shops will be opened over the next 12 months.
Spokesperson for the Community Shop Sarah Dunwell said: “With many families facing tough times in Barnsley, Company Shop wanted to do more to match surplus stock with people who really need it. Industry surplus is hard to avoid, but what Community Shop shows is that if we all work together we can make sure that surplus food delivers lasting social good.”
Co-operative chief executive of retail Steve Murrells praised the scheme. “Community Shops are an innovative way of tackling the increasing social problem of food poverty, and this project fits well with The Co-operative’s values,” he said. “We are working with Company Shop to see how we can develop our existing relationship to support this project.”