Did you know around 400 commercial village shops close each year? This often has drastic impacts for social wellbeing and the local economy. Community shops offer a vital source of retail provision within rural communities and are recognised as helping to reduce rural social isolation and loneliness. They are sustainable, co-operative businesses that respond directly to local needs and help residents take control over the future of their communities and secure the provision of essential services.
Across the UK there are over 300 community-owned shops. You can find out if there is one near where you live by looking at the shop location map on our community shops website.
Each year Plunkett publishes its annual report on community shops: A Better Form of Business; Community-owned village shops. This report provides an overview of the development of the community shop sector in the UK and the health and wealth of the sector today. Specifically, the report provides numerical data about the range of legal and management structures of these shops; a summary of the scope of products and services they offer; an analysis of their profitability and contribution to the local economy; and a background of the people who make community shops work. To view the current report, please click here.
How we can help
Are you about to lose your village shop and want to consider community ownership as a way of saving it? Do you already have a community-owned shop and want support to make sure it thrives? We can help!
Plunkett Foundation is the only national organisation supporting the development of community shops in the UK. Through specialist support programmes, regional community advisers, mentors and experts, as well as online, telephone and email support, we are able to help communities to open new community-owned shops and existing ones to thrive. Plunkett hosts a dedicated website for community shops at www.communityshops.coop where you can access an up to date directory of all community shops trading in the UK, as well as an interactive forum, and wide range of tools and resources.
Plunkett also have a dedicated membership scheme for community shops giving them access to savings and services that they would not otherwise be able to secure alone. To find out more about membership, please visit our membership page.
To enquire about how we can best support your needs, please contact our Frontline Team on 01993 810730 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.