Report this comment
  • "Sounds great till you realise that you are giving up £60 a month in wages to staff the shop, then when you cross the road you find out that Tesco are selling the same stuff 50% cheaper. But congratulations to Mr Waites for finding a "community" willing to work for nothing AND pay more for their food. And who said that the idea for The Emperors New Clothes wouldn't work. One born every minute. P.S. Mr Waites, I assume that all profits go back to the local community in Oxford City, and not to expanding your mansion in South Oxfordshire. P.P.S. Would not your local villagers be in more need of this than a road with more than 15 grocers/supermarkets already, call me a cynic, but this is all about making money for you is it not?"
  • This field is mandatory
  • This field is mandatory
  • Please note we will not accept reports with HTML tags or URLs in them.


  • Enter the above word in the box below

People's own supermarket

Oxford Mail: Founder Chris Waites Founder Chris Waites

A NEW type of supermarket that will be owned and run by its members has found an East Oxford premises.

Organisers of the ‘People’s Supermarket’ have signed a lease for a property in Cowley Road, between Rectory Road and Princes Street.

They hope to open in June and held a launch event at the Cowley Road Methodist Church this week attended by about 100 prospective members.

The supermarket will sell locally-produced food and be staffed by its members, which will reduce costs and mean goods will be cheaper than normal shops.

Founder Chris Waites, from Long Wittenham, said: “The lease has all been signed and agreed, but we have not started because we need the members sorted out. Effectively, as soon as the members say, we are ready to go and get the shop fitted out. The hope is it will be open in June.”

Mr Waites hopes to have 500 members to staff and run the shop, but said it only needed an initial 150 to open.

Members will pay an annual fee of £12 and volunteer in the store for four hours a month.

In return they get 20 per cent off their shopping.

An initial steering committee has been set up to oversee the opening. Then the running of the shop, including whether or not to hire paid staff and how to spend profits, will be decided democratically by the members.

The Cowley Road store will be the first to open in the UK outside London. Two People’s Supermarkets are operating in Camden and Hackney.

Mr Waites said: “I went to London and saw the amazing community they had built there and the amazing local food they had got.

“I thought it would be perfect to have the same in Oxford.”

Kerry Emberson, 35, who lives in East Oxford, said: “I like the idea of having a community-run supermarket.”

Jack Paton, from Headington, said: “It is about people helping themselves, helping the community, encouraging local producers and it is giving good value to the local community.

“Cowley Road is already a community-orientated area of Oxford and it can only encourage that.”

tjennings@oxfordmail.co.uk

Local Businesses

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree