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The UK’s first social supermarket chain has opened a store in Liverpool

4 years ago

The UK’s first social supermarket chain has opened a store in Liverpool

Community Shop, an award-winning social enterprise and the UK’s first social supermarket chain, has opened its new store at 211 Walton Road in Liverpool 4 – providing the local community with access to high-quality, low-cost food and household products.

The store was opened with Liverpool City Mayor Joe Anderson cutting the ceremonial ribbon, alongside Community Shop’s Founder and Chairman John Marren.

Also in attendance on the day were representatives from Liverpool City Council and the office of MP Dan Carden, as well as long-standing partner Onward Homes, Everton in the Community and Riverside who provided generous investment to get the store up and running alongside Ocado, Nestle and Company Shop Group. Freshly baked pies were also served up from the store’s neighbour Homebaked, the local co-operative bakery.

Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

Membership of the new Community Shop is now open to people who live locally, receive welfare support, and are motivated to make a positive change to their lives. This includes customers of social housing provider Onward Homes, which has given Community Shop the use of its former office for the new store. There has already been a positive response from local community, with lots of families already benefiting from the provision on offer, and Community Shop is now encouraging more people to come along to sign up to the offers.

Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

When shopping in store, members have access to heavily discounted food and products, which have predominantly been donated by major retailers and manufacturers, and may otherwise have gone to waste. Shoppers can access items up to 70% off the normal retail price, helping to stretch family budgets further.

The revenue raised from the in-store sales is invested in the Community Hub, where members can gain access to personal development support, with sessions including everything from cook clubs and home budgeting, to interview skills and business courses. The store also houses a Community Kitchen, offering wholesome hot meals to members and their families.

Working in partnership with Liverpool City Council, local charities and organisations including Onward Homes and Everton in the Community, Community Shop L4 seeks to complement the work already being delivered in the area, as it helps generate further positive social and economic impact for those most in need.  It has also generated 10 new local jobs, with vacancies now filled in retail, hospitality and development roles.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. Kirkdale resident, Heather Lawson buys groceries at Community Shop Walton Road in Kirkdale on 1 September 2020. Community Shop provides high-quality, low cost food to people who live locally and receive welfare support. Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

Steph McGinty, Retail, People and Communities Director, Company Shop said:

“We are thrilled to bring our social enterprise to the heart of Liverpool, where we are working closely with the various local organisations, charities, and community members to help make a real difference to the lives of individuals and families across the region.

“We have already worked with numerous local partners to ensure that we compliment their services and that we are offering the very best retail and personal development proposition to our members.

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from Liverpool City Council, Dan Carden MP, Onward Homes, Ocado, Nestle, Riverside and Everton in the Community, who have welcomed us with such open arms and enabled us embark on our ambitious plans to deliver further positive social, economic and environmental impact across Liverpool. It has been great to welcome new members to the store and we’re looking forward supporting many more individuals and families being able to benefit from our offers”.

Picture: Jennifer Bruce/Liverpool City Council.

Bronwen Rapley, Chief Executive of Onward Homes said:

“We are delighted to build on our partnership with Community Shop and to support their work across the City region. Onward has been a part of the community in this part of North Liverpool for many years. Placing this building in the hands of Community Shop demonstrates our commitment to the area and supports our mission ‘to create a positive difference in the communities we serve’.”    

Jo West, Head of Sustainability for Ocado Retail said:

“Community Shop make an incredible difference in the local communities they operate in. We couldn’t be prouder to donate to help them to bring food to people in great need and provide support to the local communities during this very difficult time, and to have helped boost the pace of the store opening in Walton Road so that even more people can benefit from their provision.”   


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