New People’s Supermarket to open in Hackney

New People’s Supermarket to open in Hackney
Retail Gazette, by Jon Whiteaker

This Thursday (January 26th 2012) sees the unveiling of a second store in London by member-owned & run social enterprise The People’s Supermarket (TPS).

After the launch of the concept, which sees customers awarded reductions on their grocery bill by working at the store, in Camden, the newest incarnation of the scheme is to be unveiled this week in Hackney.

Around 30 operational shop and kitchen staff will be employed at the 4,000 sq ft supermarket, which is located adjacent to the Hackney overground station but it will need around 700 volunteers a month in order to function properly as a membership co-operative.

Members of the local community are being offered the chance to invest £1 in a brick of the store to help fund future expansion and TPS is also looking for local business which it could partner with it through sponsorship and corporate social responsibility.

Kate Bull, CEO of TPS, commented: “The principle of the TPS is that it is “driven by the people for the people.” The second site in Hackney will be the fulfilment of a close relationship with the local council, community and traders.”

The trials and tribulations of the first TPS store were shown to the public by a Channel 4 documentary first broadcast last year, and Bull has been candid in the past about the difficulties involved in running the scheme.

For its first year of trading TPS is predicting the Hackney store to turnover £1,250,000, and the group is confident that the initiative could be expanded to areas of the UK and is considering sites in Newcastle, Cardiff and Cornwall.

Hackney Councillor Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games said: “The People’s Supermarket is set to provide jobs, training, and apprenticeships opportunities for unemployed Hackney residents, as well as supporting the Council’s commitment to the borough’s town centres and high streets, by opening up in some previously empty premises.”