Jed, the hero of Michel Houellebecq's book "La carte et le territoire" (The map and the territory) would not believe it: a new supermarket concept has just been born in London. Is it still possible to wander through the shelves, to find new layouts, to use the usual tricks to attract shoppers and to pile up objects in an infinite number of places?
It's a long way from the sad and gloomy shop full of gondola heads to make you buy more and waste more and more: People's supermarket is a supermarket for you, made by you! Its slogan: "For the people, by the people".
The concept is simple but no less innovative. Created in London's Holborn district, this unusual supermarket was designed by Arthur Potts Dawson, ex-chef of Jamie Oliver's "Fifteen Restaurant". It is quite simply a collaborative supermarket. The idea is not new, since in New York there was already the Brooklyn Foodcop, and in Paris there is the collaborative supermarket of the She-wolf who is inspired by the model of a cooperative created 20 years ago and which has 16,000 members: the Park Slope Food Coop. But People's supermarket still managed to complete the concept by adding a few small modifications.
Thus, the essential values remain the same: sustainable development, local products with a low environmental impact, and above all anti-waste.
On the other hand, there's a little extra: the supermarket even has a "people's kitchen" available for customers!
Here is the typical path of a carrot: first sold as it is in the shop, if the unfortunate carrot does not find a buyer during its fresh period, it will be transformed into soup on the spot in the kitchen! If even in soup, after 48 hours, nobody wants it, it will be offered free of charge to staff and members. If after 24 hours no one has served it, it will be given to charity. If it is not fresh enough, it will be used as compost to grow the fruit and vegetables sold in the supermarket.
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Like Broolyn's Foodcoop, the supermarket is run by its members. Thus, for 4 hours of work per week, members benefit from a discount of 20% on the store's products. Members can also vote for the supply of the store: they choose the products to be ordered to feed the shelves.
By limiting margins as much as possible and sourcing locally, the cooperative manages to offer more than affordable prices, while at the same time offering healthy and quality products to consumers (organic products, fair trade products, etc.).
The supermarket is a huge success across the Channel, since after 15 months it already had 1200 members and was already profitable!