Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Melissa S.
With rising household costs, saving money on the supermarket is a top priority for many people. And while there are many ways to cut costs with meal planning, brand downshifting and supermarket loyalty cards, there are also further options available to eligible consumers.
In this post I will outline what the Company Shop is and who is eligible for membership in the UK.
What is the Company Shop?
The Company Shop is a members only supermarket with several locations across the UK selling excess stock for large discounts. Not only does this reduce waste but it also provides members with significant savings on a range of household products including fresh food, household goods, cleaning products and stationery.
What sort of things does the Company Shop sell?
Because the shops sell surplus, excess and damaged stock from their retail partners, the contents changes from store to store and also week to week.
On their website, the Company Shop state they have approval from all major retailers to redistribute their own-label surplus products. This means you are likely to see own label brands from the following supermarkets:
- Marks & Spencer
The types of surplus and excess stock includes:
- Fresh, chilled, ambient and frozen foods
- Beers, Wines & Spirits
- Non-Food Household
- Personal, Petcare & Horticulture
Why are these products deemed surplus?
There can be a number of reasons, and not all of them will be the ones most obvious to the customer such as short dates, damaged products or foreign language labelling. However, these are all reasons why you might find the products heavily discounted in the Company Shop.
Other reasons stated on the website include:
- Trial Products & New Product development
- Excess Seasonal stock
- Old Packaging, Delists and Rebrands
- Underweight or Light Fills
- Misaligned Packaging
- Overstock / Over manufacture
The shops are generally the size of a small supermarket such as Aldi, and because the stock is so diverse you certainly couldn’t do your full weekly shop on what is typically available, but it is a great addition to be able to top up very cheaply.
As an example, a couple of my previous purchases have been:
Microban 750ml bathroom cleaner spray- 50p (rrp £4.00) – I bought 2 and they have lasted me over 6 months now!
Who can join the Company Shop?
Membership for the Company Shop is free and currently open to employees and pension recipients of the following sectors:
- Care and Emergency Services
- Prison Service
- British Armed Forces
- Fire Service
- FMCS Manufacturing
- FMCS Logistics
- Means tested benefits recipients
What proof do I need for the Company Shop?
In order to qualify as a member you will need to provide the following:
- Most recent digital or printed payslip (must be from the last 30 days),
- Proof of Means Tested Benefits or proof of qualifying pension/eligibility
- Proof of name and address (e.g. Utility, Bank statement)
- Photo ID
Can I nominate other people for membership?
Each member can nominate 2 guests to sign up for their own membership. These guests do not have to work in any of the specified sectors. These nominated members cannot invite further members however. Full details can be found at this link.
Can I shop at the Company Shop without a membership?
You may accompany an existing member as a guest, but each party needs to present a membership card to enter the shop and also at checkout. However, if you are not a member, you can be nominated by an existing member to join, even if you do not work within the specified sectors. (see above)
Can I bring guests to the Company Shop?
Yes, each member can bring up to 2 guests per visit, but non members cannot pay for goods separately. So for example you could accompany a member and select some products to buy, but the member would need to pay for them at checkout.
Are children allowed in the Company Shop?
Yes, and they are not classed as guests if you are bringing additional adult guests.
Company Shop locations
The Company Shop has a growing number of locations within the UK as following:
- Long Eaton
- St Helens
- Wentworth (Barnsley)
Is it worth joining The Company Shop?
If you are eligible and have one close by, I would say it is definitely worth joining – after all, it is free, so what have you got to lose?
As previously stated, I would not rely on it to be able to get a full weekly shop – nor would I travel further afield just to make a special journey there, as there is no guarantee of any specific products being in stock.
But as an addition to your usual household shopping, it is definitely worth checking out a couple of times a month to see what is available before buying your usual products elsewhere.
About the Author
Melissa is a working parent who left behind a senior management salary for a better work/life balance. Following her own money saving and money making strategies she was able to clear debt and live a life she loves. Blogging, selling digital products on Etsy and selling preloved items on eBay are her favourite side hustles. Read her story here.
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