25p shops to go nationwide
The woman behind the 25p shop plans to take her shop nationwide, after her first two stores proved to be massively popular (for obvious reasons).
Charlotte Danks, 21, set up her first supermarket as an affordable alternative to food banks, charging just 25p for most items in the store.
That store proved shockingly popular and she soon opened up a second store, but after that store also proved extremely popular she now wants to take the 25p store nationwide.
Undercutting the freaking pound shop
Her Bargain Brand Food shops sell items that supermarkets have rejected because their packaging is damaged, or because they are getting near their sell-by-date, something which her customers don't seem to care about.
"It’s really taken off. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback; people come in often and thank me for helping them get through difficult times – which is very rewarding," she said.
"I hope to continue doing this for the rest of my life, as long as I keep having customers regularly coming back I should be able to expand and I hope I can bring this to other struggling communities."
And it's not all crap, either! Look at that - Pot Noodles and cranberry juice! Images copyright SWNS.com
Charlotte opened her first shop in her hometown of Newquay in Cornwall last June. It was so profitable she was able to open her second supermarket in St Austell’s Market House last Saturday.
So far it looks as popular with the first shop, with queues of people waiting to see what she's got in stock when she opened. And she's already had to do a re-stock, just two days after opening.
"It’s been manic so far"
"There were queues of people waiting to get in, and at one point people were actually waiting outside for customers to come out because there wasn’t enough room for them in there too."
"I’ve just had another delivery to the shop also because stock was running low."
Customers begging her to open shop
Charlotte doesn't just see this as a great business, but as a way to help communities hit by deprivation. She decided to open her second store, in fact, after customers who visited her first store kept asking her to open up a shop nearer to them.
"I think the greatest need is in St Austell because of the deprivation."
"From the first day I opened in Newquay, my customers from St Austell have been begging me to open a store there."
"Although I’m exhausted, I’m really excited to see if it’s going to be as busy as I hope it is."
Charlotte in her discount store, where most things are 25p each. Behind her is the most expensive thing in the shop - a two-litre tub of curry powder for £2.50. Images via SWNS.com
"It would otherwise end up straight in landfill"
Her shops sell anything from fresh meat, tinned foods, dairy and even Pot Noodles and hair dye. She manages to get it cheaply because it's things that the main supermarkets would normally send to landfill.
"We sell a mixture of things from tinned foods, to crisps, sweets, dried foods, fresh meat and dairy products, toiletries, hair dye, cat food – pretty much whatever I can get my hands on; it changes every week."
"Most of what we sell is stuff that’s coming up to it’s sell-by date, but that’s not the same as its expiry date," she said.
"Everything is perfectly fine, but the supermarket has to get it off its shelves and it would otherwise end up straight in landfill."
How dare supermarkets throw out delicious butter chicken sauce and Sharwood's plain naan bread? Can't they see it's a new and improved recipe??? Images via SWNS.com
Since her first store and second store have been so successful, Charlotte has also opened a market stall in Pool and is opening a warehouse next month. From there she will then open stores in Bude and Bodmin, later this summer, eventually hoping to create a franchise.
Whilst she has no plans for worldwide domination just yet, she is planning on spreading all over the country, once she's cracked her home county.
"I’d love to see this spread all over the country, but at the minute I am focussing on Cornwall." She said.
No doubt, as her shop is four times cheaper than Poundland, her stores will be popular enough to spread around the UK.