The People’s Supermarket and convenience store chain Spar have announced a new long-term partnership that will “help build a bright new future” for the central London co-operative supermarket.
Under the partnership agreement AF Blakemore Spar will become the main wholesale grocery supplier for The People’s Supermarket, alongside a development plan that will include a new shop layout, new refrigeration, upgraded IT and till systems, as well as training and marketing support.
The People’s Supermarket will continue to be a member-owned and member-run co-operative, serving the community with “affordable, fresh, high quality produce, and building on its strong range of products from small, local and independent suppliers.”
The announcement comes at an exciting time for the supermarket, which achieved revenues for the year ending March 2012 of nearly £1.2m, and is in the process of finalising its transition to an IPS Community Benefit Society.
Kate Bull, CEO of The People’s Supermarket, said: “Working with AF Blakemore gives us the opportunity to not only secure our future in Holborn but also develop a new form of social franchising, which should enable us to work with other communities and create new People’s Supermarkets across the country.”
The People’s Supermarket will end its current supplier agreement with Nisa. Andrew J Mouse, Nisa group sales director, said: “We have enjoyed our working relationship and regret that it has come to an end but we must always act in the best interests of our membership and respect The People’s Supermarket’s decision to ensure the future of its company.
“It is a business with noble goals which shares much common ground with a community-focused business such as ours. We wish its management team and the company’s volunteers the very best of luck in their future endeavours.”
The redesign of the shop will begin within the next few days, with the intention that work is complete in time for the Olympic Games, when The People’s Supermarket will be working with Co-operatives UK to promote the co-operative economy in the UK as part of UN Year of the Co-operative.