Company Shop Group Spearheads Innovation and Growth in Surplus Stock Redistribution
Cold Chain Federation member Company Shop Group, the UK’s leading redistributor of surplus food and household products, has announced a significant increase in the amount of stock it has saved from going to waste – including 8% growth in non-food items such as household products, personal items and homeware.
The news comes a week after industry body WRAP confirmed a 96% increase in food surplus redistribution across the industry between 2015 and 2018, equivalent to an extra 65 million meals a year – much of which was handled by Company Shop. In 2019 alone, the Group, which encompasses commercial redistribution business Company Shop and award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, redistributed 25,179 tonnes of surplus food and drink – equivalent to 60 million meals.
The announcement also follows the release of the Group’s latest impact report, Corporate Surplus Responsibility, which tracks, recognises and celebrates the sustainable environmental, economic and social impact delivered by Company Shop Group across the industry and within the communities it serves across the UK.
The impact of the Group’s success has hugely benefited the 144,929 members who have passed through the Company Shop and Community Shop doors. Members, who work in food manufacturing, NHS and emergency services saved, on average, 53% off the normal retail price on their shopping with the Group. This resulted in a massive saving of £53m across the membership base, helping to stretch hard-working family budgets by providing high-quality, low cost products.
Celebrating the transformative social impact delivered by the pioneering redistribution model, the report also highlighted how the Group had supported over 6,259 community households in the last five years, through the life-changing work provided by Community Shop. The transformative model, powered by the donation of surplus stock from the industry, is building stronger individuals and more confident communities. Over 90% of members have reported that they are eating more healthily; have experienced improvements in their physical wellbeing and feel more confident about money. Through Community leadership programmes, they are also connecting groups of motivated individuals who can negotiate and plan to make a long term difference in their own communities.
Over the last decade, the Group reported it has returned well over £125 million to the industry by purchasing surplus stock from the FMCG supply chain. In the last year alone, Company Shop paid its retail and manufacturing partners over £18.2 million by unlocking valuable surplus stock within the waste stream.
Reflective of the Group’s significant expansion over the last 12 months, with the opening of its first Scottish store in Renfrew, the substantial extension of its Corby superstore and the launch of its first social supermarket in the North West in Halton, the Group is now an employee of choice for over 837 colleagues across England and Scotland.
John Marren, Chairman and Founder Company Shop Group:
“Since our last impact report, I challenged everyone, including myself, to do more to be the best we can be for our industry, our people and our planet. I am incredibly proud and grateful for what we have achieved at Company Shop Group over the last year, as evidenced with our Corporate Surplus Responsibility report, and I remain very excited about what is still to come.
“It has been a phenomenal year for us, having won our second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Sustainable Development category and most recently opening three new sites at the close of 2019. We therefore have more stock, more stores and more members at the top of our agenda for 2020 and I look forward to working with all our colleagues and industry partners to keep increasing our impact, as we aim for extraordinary every day.”
Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the British Retail Consortium, said:
“Similarly to the BRC, Company Shop Group has been at the forefront of the sustainable business agenda for over 50 years, helping retailers, manufacturers and brands redefine and minimise waste at every stage of their processes. Where the supply chain faces challenges with their surplus, Company Shop Group has long been providing solutions.
“The 2019 sustainability report demonstrates how Company Shop Group has been dynamic and responsive to the increasing demand from industry. This is a celebration of the positive impact of great partners and collaborations and I urge the industry to keep working together to help build the more sustainable future we all strive for.”