As the largest redistributor of surplus food in the UK, Company Shop wanted to move away from being purely industry-focused and take its model out onto the high street in 2013, by launching ‘Community Shop’: a social enterprise and the UK’s first social supermarket, aimed at reducing food waste and food poverty. PLMR suggested an engagement programme with key decision-makers, charities and other major industry groups, with a targeted media strategy and official media launch that would engage local, national and international outlets.
Through its experience and contacts in the food, drink and retail sector, PLMR’s approach was to:
- Brief and secure support for Community Shop amongst key opinion formers, industry and politicians, as a favoured and accepted route for surplus food, and to smooth the way for a proposed media launch
- To advise Company Shop on its communications strategy, deliver tailored media training, identify and pursue valuable opportunities for the business and give advice to the senior management team
- Respond to breaking media, secure support of large brands, manufacturers and retailers
- Deliver the successful launch of Community Shop, whilst maintaining and promoting Company Shop’s interest throughout
- Deliver ad hoc briefings, communications support and a 24 hour press office
Manage the media profile and core messaging – around Company Shop and Community Shop, as interest grew
As a result, 2013 was the year that Community Shop – and Company Shop – were jettisoned into the mainstream.
Through PLMR’s support, the media launch of Community Shop reached more than 85 million people – with coverage secured on TV, radio and print globally, including the Today Programme, BBC Breakfast, ITV lunchtime and evening news, Mail Online, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, BBC One’s ‘The One Show’, BBC Radio 2 and American, French, Chinese and Russian TV. BBC, Sky and ITV all broadcasted live from the store, with endorsement flooding in from industry, academics and politicians alike.
Following the launch, The Big Issue posted Community Shop as its cover story; not only cementing it as a strong brand, but heralding it a ‘Future Icon’ of sustainable, socially impactful business practice.
Most importantly, using the success of the launch and this profile as a platform, it has spurred other parts of industry to expand or begin the work they do with Community Shop and Company Shop, creating a halo effect. With recognition coming in the form of being shortlisted for a range of industry awards, it is clear that PLMR’s strategy is ensuring that Company Shop is now influencing more than just industry – but public behaviour on food waste and food poverty, for the better.
-Mark Game, Managing Director of Company Shop
“Thanks for all your help and support, as always, we couldn’t do it without you!”