Costcutter Supermarkets Group is working with Compass Group UK & Ireland to open temporary ‘pop-up’ stores in 20 NHS hospitals in England following the temporary closure of some retailers across the sites.

Costcutter NHS store

Designed to be operational through the coronavirus crisis, the new pop up stores will provide NHS key workers with access to a core range of everyday essentials, including bread and milk plus basic meal solutions, confectionery products and household items such as toilet rolls and soaps.

The unbranded stores will be manned by the hospitals’ restaurant staff and typically occupy spaces normally used by coffee shops and foodservice counters. They will mainly make use of existing equipment within the hospitals for the display of products, and health and safety control measures to meet coronavirus guidelines are in place throughout the stores.

Sites include London’s King’s College Hospital, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge and the Newcastle Royal Infirmary.

Andrew Jones, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s managing director of Healthcare Retail, commented: “At this time of unprecedented demand on NHS staff, it is vital that they have easy access to everyday essentials. By putting in place these pop-up stores, we can take away a small amount of the pressure they are feeling at this challenging time.”

Bill Randles, head of national retail accounts at Costcutter Supermarkets Group, said: “With a number of retail units forced to close due to the Covid-19 crisis, it is vitally important that the NHS staff at these hospitals can easily get hold of core grocery and household products that they need. That’s why we have worked hard to open these stores in record time and while the range of products that we are offering in these stores is limited by the facilities, we are confident that NHS key workers will find these everyday essentials helpful.”

Costcutter and Compass have an existing contract which sees them operate a number of stores under the group’s fascias at hospital and educational sites.