Surplus food company opens superstore in St Helens

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A business which redistributes surplus food and household products has opened a new flagship superstore in St Helens.

Chairman and Founder of Company Shop, John Marren, and St Helens South and Whiston MP, Marie Rimmer, were joined by local politicians and industry stakeholders to cut the ribbon.

Company Shop, and its social enterprise, Community Shop, work with major retailers, manufacturers and brands across the country to stop more than 50 million items of good food and household products going to waste each year. Surplus is created for a wide range of reasons in our supply chain – it could be a wonky label, incorrect weight on a product, a short shelf life remaining on the stock, seasonal packaging or an incomplete batch – but for whatever reason the food has become surplus, the food inside is still great to eat.

With a thriving food and manufacturing sector in the North West, there was a clear need for a new redistribution solution for businesses in the region, to enable them to tackle their surpluses sustainably and prevent them from going to waste.

The new Company Shop store will stock good food and household products at approximately 1/3 of the normal retail price from the full range of Company Shop’s industry partners, including Waitrose, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Ocado, Morrisons, Iceland, Nestle, Bakkavor, Greencore, Heinz and Muller. Company Shop is a membership-only store, with access open to people who work in food manufacturing, the emergency services or the NHS.

Alongside the new St Helens Company Shop superstore, which has created 30 full time jobs, there are also plans to deliver up to five Community Shops in the Liverpool City Region over the next two to three years.

As well as receiving support from key food industry players, the 10,000 sq ft Company Shop store has received financial backing from Lloyd’s Bank and support with property acquisition from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.

Ms Rimmer said: “I’m delighted to welcome this innovative investment in Sutton which will lower the cost of shopping for members and reduce food waste, and landfill, whilst creating local jobs. I do hope people take full of advantage of membership and wish the venture well.”

Mr Marren added: “We are absolutely delighted to have officially opened our fifth Company Shop flagship store today, here in St Helens. The new store, and expanding into the Liverpool City Region more widely, will allow us to ensure that we are reaching even more families and redistributing even more food – stopping good food going to waste.

“We have always been motivated to be different and to make a difference and we are really excited to be bringing our model to the North West.”

St Helens Council Leader, Barrie Grunewald, added: “I very much welcome the arrival of Company Shop to St Helens which will bring a much needed boost to the local economy, and I’m delighted to see that is has also generated 30 jobs as a result.

“The company’s way of business is a fantastic concept and one that we as a council fully support, as it is stopping perfectly good food and other products from needlessly going to landfill.”