What is a Community-Owned Shop?
A community-owned shop is one in which there is community involvement in either the setting up or the running of the shop. A typical community-owned village shop:
- Has a turnover of £84,000 per annum
- Engages 25 volunteers
- Employs 1.3 whole time equivalent staff
- Is profitable
- Was supported by ViRSA during its start up period
Not all shops are typical and an analyse of existing community owned shops showed six different business models currently in operation.
These are shops with limited opening hours and turnovers of less than £20,000 per annum which operate mainly as a service for vulnerable groups in the community to make essential purchases.
These are shops which are open most hours, with turnovers of around £50,000 per annum and are run entirely by volunteers.
These are shops which are open most hours, with turnovers of around £100,000 or more per annum, which are run with at least one paid manager and supplemented by volunteers.
Privately managed shops
These are community-owned shops which have been leased out to an individual to manage and operate. They are not usually able to draw on the input of unpaid volunteers.
These are shops which regard themselves as providing multiple services to the community, in addition to basic retail services. Additional services may include a café, internet point, small library or prescription collection service.
These are shops, normally located in more affluent villages, which focus as much on the sale of local and speciality foods as they do on basic grocery provisions.
The numbers falling into each of these categories varies considerably with the
most common models being Managed Shops and Volunteer Shops, with
relatively few in the remaining categories.
Nearly all community-owned shops have a management committee responsible
for ensuring that the shop is financially viable and satisfies the objectives of the
organisation. There usually needs to be some form of annual reporting to the
village. This might be a formal AGM, a social event with presentation or a report in the village magazine.
All community-owned shops are businesses and they must have a recognised legal structure in order to trade, which is why the Almondsbury Community Services Association (ACSA) was formed.