Community shops fight off the giants in the Midhurst and Petworth area

Behind the counter at Kirdford Village Stores
Behind the counter at Kirdford Village Stores

SHOPPERS are shunning the ‘BOGOFs’ and other supermarket promotions in favour of their community-owned shops, a new survey has revealed.

And the community shops are performing better than major supermarket chains, says the rural review published by the Plunkett Foundation.

At Kirdford Village Stores, chairman Sue Ransley said turnover was getting on for double the estimates in the shop’s business plan.

“Our turnover for 2013 was more than £450,000. We have completely outstripped our estimates in our business plan where we hoped to make £250,000 and this year we are 
hoping to break through the half-million-pound barrier.”

She said community shops were ‘very robust and a popular model for communities to follow’.

“This survey shows people are voting with their feet, saving petrol 
and finding that BOGOFs and end-of-aisle supermarket promotions are not necessarily saving them money.”

At Lodsworth Larder, now in its fifth year of trading, chairman Mike Davies said turnover was growing and last year broke through the £250,000 mark.

“Obviously the object was to create a shop for the good of the community,” 
he said.

“It is well used and everybody feels it’s a definite bonus to the community as it serves not only as a shopping but also a social centre.”

Chairman of community-run Milland Stores, Isobel Fraser, said the village shop was also running ahead of target, with a turnover of more than £190,000 last year.

“We are certainly doing better than we anticipated and part of the reason is we have extended the cafe at the shop and the menu.

“We listen and try to stock what people want, it’s a very different service from a supermarket.”

Milland also runs a scaled-down post office and a dry cleaning service.

The Plunkett report found with like-for-like sales growth at 1.9 per cent, community shops were outstripping that of major supermarkets for the third year running.