The core social benefit of the shop will be the fact that a shop supplying essential groceries and services will be open in the village. This has been the focus of the planning activity. Within this, the core values of the business will set the agenda for the shop along the following lines
The shop can also help with many of life’s little difficulties faced by our rural community, such as
- Work with local businesses such as Nelsons, milkman and newspapers to complement the current services provided.
- Source local produce wherever possible.
- Stock known brand basic convenience items
- Give excellent customer service including the ability to order special items.
- Supply local craft items.
- Incorporate Fair Trade products where possible
Nowadays many people work or run their businesses from home and the shop can help them by offering the following support services
- Cash back
- Telephone top up
- Dry Cleaning
- Post Office Services
Developing a community shop gives the freedom to deliver many other benefits to the community that a privately owned shop cannot afford to deliver. These benefits are many such as
- Franking machine
- Stamps, weighing and postal services
- Parcel drop off point
The shop will also have a key role in encouraging active citizenship by providing volunteering activity within the village, thus providing things to do within the village, encouraging social interaction and building community spirit. As well as working in the shop this might include a voluntary delivery service to villagers who are ill or for some other reason unable to get their shopping. The shop is in walking or cycling distance for most people in the village
- A drop in café, to provide an informal meeting place within the heart of the village open into the early evening can become a central resource to improve community life, as well as a meeting point for the youngsters in the village.
- A central meeting point for public consultation. The fact that there will be somewhere open in the village during the day and into the early evening provides a very useful opportunity for people who serve the village to meet with the villagers, people such as community police, local councillors, local organisations and clubs can organise small meetings there.
- A parcel drop off point for people to arrange for their parcels to be delivered to the shop and collected later. This will provide a service to members of the community that are out at work all day.
- An computer IT point within the village offering internet connection facilities and an internet ordering point for the supermarkets and other retailers.
- A notice board to communicate village events, news, items for sale that is indoors and accessible to the community.