A local MSP is backing a Renfrew-based store providing many of Renfrewshire’s key workers with reduced priced food and household items, whilst also helping the environment by reducing the quantity of products going to waste.

Natalie Don, MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, enjoyed a tour of Company Shop Renfrew in Blythswood Retail Park where she was greeted by Gemma Edlin, Head of Retail for the Company Shop Group and told all about their business model.

Company Shop is a redistribution supermarket preventing good food and household products from going to waste. With heavily discounted products that are on average around 50% off the normal retail price, Company Shop Renfrew helps to stretch family budgets, whilst simultaneously tackling the challenge of surplus food and product waste.

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 Ocado, Morrisons, Marks and Spencer, Nestlé, Greencore, Iceland and Tesco. All products sold within the store are in date but are deemed ‘surplus’ and may have otherwise gone to waste.

Membership is free and open to almost all key workers, including those working in the NHS, social care, emergency services, fast moving consumer goods supply chain, the armed forces and prison services, and temporarily to those working in schools and councils. In order to reach families most in need, Company Shop Renfrew has also extended its membership to those in receipt of means tested benefits.

Natalie Don MSP said: “I was delighted to visit Company Shop Renfrew and find out about the store’s progress in the 20 months since its launch – including its employment of 42 staff and their rapidly expanding customer base consisting of more than 48,000 locally registered members, making it the largest of the company’s premises in Scotland.

“It was great to hear that membership has been temporarily extended during the COVID-19 pandemic to people employed by nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, local authorities and housing associations as well as those receiving means-tested benefits, so they too can also access substantially discounted food that would otherwise go to waste.

“I encourage people throughout Renfrewshire North and West who are eligible to become members to register with Company Shop Renfrew and start benefiting from being able to buy cheaper food products which are all in date but have been overstocked elsewhere or become surplus simply due to incorrect labelling or seasonal packaging.”

Gemma Edlin, Head of Retail for the Company Shop Group, said: “We were really pleased to welcome Natalie to Company Shop Renfrew and show her all of the great work that has been taking place since the store opened, benefitting local families and helping to tackle surplus in the area. We look forward to continuing to work with Natalie to support those in Renfrewshire and beyond.”

For information about applying for membership, visit www.companyshopgroup.co.uk/membership or call telephone: 01226 747 121.

Company Shop Renfrew is open 8am-8pm Mondays to Fridays, 8am-6pm on Saturday and 9am-6pm on Sundays.