EntrepreneurshipStrategy & Leadership

Company Shop: Doing Good Whilst Making Profit

Company Shop was founded by John Marren (Chairman) in 1990. Following their ‘zero landfill’ philosophy, both John and Mark Game (Managing Director) share a passion for stopping good food going to waste by working with retailers, manufacturers and large brands to redistribute nearly 30,000 tonnes of residual stock each year. From its headquarters in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, the business employs over 500 people, across a national network of 18 members stores from Glasgow to Southampton, as well as 17 e-tail ‘click and collect’ factory shops servicing the employees of large manufacturers. With long-standing relationships with all but one of the major retailers and as much as a million tonnes of waste generated by the UK food industry each year, the business has growth on its mind and an emphasis on “more stock, more stores”. As they scale, John and Mark face some difficult questions, such as how to communicate their growth plan whilst ensuring the continued support of their retail stakeholders; what governance structures should they introduce to speed up decision-making and ensure strategic alignment amongst the senior management team; and can ‘Community Shop’ provide the social dividend model to hit their growth targets whilst engaging stakeholders around a vision of delivering social and environmental impact, brand protection and economic returns to their partners.


Topics/Industry: governanceleadershipsocial enterprise

Publication date: 01/09/2014

Published by: ELITE

Authors: Chris Corbishley, Gerry George

Length: 10 pages

Geography: UK

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