A new supermarket where key workers can carry out their weekly shop for around half the price they would usually pay is about to open in the city.
Company Shop Leicester will be launching at Leicester Distribution Park, off Ratby Lane, this Wednesday, August 26 – but we were invited in early to bring you an exclusive sneak peek.
According to the company, shoppers will typically be able to get more than 50 per cent off the normal retail price of items.
Shoppers must usually be members of the store, and membership is open to those working in the NHS, care and emergency services and the food manufacturing goods supply chain. However, during the pandemic, membership has been temporarily extended to include almost all key workers, including those working in councils and schools.
However, Company Shop Group, which owns Company Shop Leicester, is also helping families eligible for free school meals (FSM) vouchers, or in receipt of welfare support. They will be able to redeem a £15 voucher per child for every week during the summer holidays. Any eligible family can redeem the offer.
The shop will save tonnes of what it describes as ‘perfectly good food and household products’ from going to waste each year, enabling members to access heavily-discounted products from top brands while helping the environment by preventing unnecessary waste.
The store, which has created around 100 jobs, is part of Company Shop Group, a surplus redistributor which already operates a chain of eight superstores across England and Scotland.
The company says it enables members to ‘shop good, feel good and do good’, with items from household brands such as Waitrose, Nestle, Iceland and Tesco on offer at a fraction of their normal price.
All the food and other products sold within the store are in date and perfectly good to eat or use, but are deemed ‘surplus’ and may have otherwise gone to waste due to incorrect or wonky labelling, seasonal packaging or overstocks, among other reasons, said a spokesperson.
To accommodate the fact that the Leicester store is opening towards the end of the summer holidays, and to ensure that local families do not lose out on the FSM scheme that has been in operation across its other stores, Company Shop is backdating the offer and Leicestershire families will have access to the full £90 per child (equivalent to six weeks summer holidays) from August 26, added the spokesperson. This extended provision follows a £900,000 donation from long-standing industry partner Nestle.
Any eligible family can redeem the offer, regardless of whether they are an existing member of the store or not. All they need to do to collect their voucher is visit the store and provide proof of receipt of means tested benefits or FSM.
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The store has already received widespread support, including from neighbouring food manufacturer Samworth Brothers, as well as Leicester mayor Sir Peter Soulsby.
Sir Peter said: “The arrival of the Company Shop will create around 100 new jobs for local people, so I am very pleased to welcome them to Leicester.
“By selling surplus food to their members that might otherwise go to landfill, they will help reduce food waste, while helping people save money on their weekly shop.”
Alongside the 15,000 sq ft superstore, the 50,000 sq ft unit will operate a processing and redistribution hub to serve the company’s growing portfolio of stores across the Midlands and beyond.
To find out more about those eligible for membership, and how to apply, read our article here.