AN innovative redistribution supermarket that prevents good food and household products from going to waste, Company Shop, is set to open its doors in early February, creating 45 new jobs in the area.

With heavily discounted items that are on average around 53 per cent off the normal retail price, Company Shop Darlington will help to stretch the family budgets of thousands across Darlington and beyond, whilst simultaneously tackling the challenge of surplus food and product waste.

Membership to the store is free and open to those working in the NHS, care and emergency services, prison service, British Armed Forces and the fast-moving consumer goods supply chain. During the current pandemic, membership has also been temporarily extended to include those on a means tested benefit.

The store is part of the UK’s leading surplus redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group, which works with all the major retailers, manufacturers and brands across the UK to redistribute surplus food and household products, including Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Nestlé, Iceland and Tesco.

All the 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 overstock – amongst many other reasons.

Company Shop Group was first founded over 50 years ago in South Yorkshire by Founder and Chairman John Marren, and the head office continues to be based there. Company Shop Darlington will see the Group expand its offering in the North East, with Company Shop Washington having opened its doors in 2019.

Following the opening of Company Shop Darlington, there are also plans in progress for the Group to expand further in the area, bringing its award-winning social enterprise, Community Shop, which will provide high-quality products at deeply discounted prices as well as personal development support to families receiving welfare support.

Company Shop is encouraging eligible members to sign up online ahead of the store opening, so that they can immediately access the benefits on offer when it opens in late January. Alongside welcoming thousands of new members to the Group, in a pledge to help them ‘shop good, feel good and do good’, Company Shop is also encouraging local manufacturers, retailers and brands to get in touch if they are looking for sustainable surplus solutions for their products.

Steph McGinty, deputy managing Director for Company Shop Group said: “We’re very pleased to be opening our first Company Shop store in Darlington, and expanding our provision in the North East as part of our longstanding commitment to the area. We are looking forward to being able to help stretch the budgets of even more families across the region and creating 45 new jobs.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of industry partners, members, local organisations and the wider community, Company Shop Darlington has become possible. We are now bringing in new colleagues, and we would encourage those eligible for membership to sign up."