Case Study on Company Shop: Challenges involved & how to resolve them

Case Study on Company Shop: Challenges involved and how to resolve them

Efforts to unravel food poverty predicament and finding means on how to cater for the famished, poor have proved to be strenuous for most. However, Company Shop, an organization whose principles are firmly based on zero-landfill, has triumphed in this endeavor.  Its objectives are steered against retailers and food manufacturers discarding residual food stock, rather opting to redistribute it at a bargaining price to the struggling common folk Inasmuch as providing corporate social responsibilities to the overall society, this company faces consequential plights on how to strategically outline and communicate the future growth of the company to its stakeholders. This paper takes an analytic review on the administration of Company Shop; a setback involved and further offers solutions on how to remedy them.

Company Shop foundation

Company Shop was established by John Marren in 1990, as a surplus redistributor of chiefly frozen foods to begin with but soon changed course to redistributing ambient products in 1985. The contemporary business model was laid out when one of John’s patron requested to retail some of these commodities in their own staff shops, where residual foodstuffs were sold to staff employees.

The organization aims at pruning food poverty, encouraging zero-landfill, and diminishing land contamination by avoiding disposal of excess foodstuffs emanating from over orders, damaged packaging or misshapen. It prompts food manufacturers to accurately plan orders to evade overproduction; retailers to extend products’ shelf life via better storage and encourages supplying surplus edibles charitable organizations. The company is based on a business model that employs logistics to ascertain ideal output and an ample selection of foodstuffs readily available at their warehouses. For growth and expansion purposes, the mission is grounded on “more stock, more stores.”

How was Community Shop born?

To fulfill the social and environmental targets instituted by the United Kingdom Government, J. Marren inaugurated Community Shop in Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire in 2013. It serves as a ‘social supermarket’ whose general objectives is to sell plethora foodstuffs  to the common folk at discounted prices like a third of the original retail cost, thus operating like a secondary market for excess edibles. This social enterprise entices the society as it issues extra communal and civil support services such as social welfare benefits, debt advice, cookery classes and addiction counseling among others beyond just the discounted affordable foods.

What are the challenges involved?

  1. Discordant business frameworks

The two distinct business entities are based on very different principals yet they function on the same platform that drives their growth, a ‘hate-waste’ philosophy. Company Shop heavily banks on a logistics framework, standardization of procedures, discrete negotiations with suppliers to ascertain speedy redistribution of surplus stock whereas Community Shop’s emphasis is more on community participation, individual consideration and customization of processes. Simply put, one is trader/ business oriented while the other is social oriented, presenting a collision of two operating models.

  1. Messaging to stakeholders

Company Shop’s top management team is unsure of which is the appropriate conventional manner to communicate to its stakeholders on the plans made, in this case, the adjustment from “food logistics to client service”. An organization should communicate with its stakeholders on any future actions, calculated plans or designs, giving most attention to its customers, suppliers and partners (see Appendix A).

  1. Managerial affairs

The top management team is tasked with the labor of achieving the company’s desired objectives in addition to overseeing its operations. This firm’s top management team needs appropriate governance structures to steer the firm towards goals set, in this case, growth and expansion.  However, at the moment the team is only relying on recurrent meetings to deliberate on what strategic courses to take, which is insubstantial if the company is to achieve its purpose.

Employable remedies

  1. Reconciliation of business models

The top management team should work on how to reconcile the two distinct business models to ensure the smooth operations of the company. The motion to carry on with the trader like model of Company Shop and retaining Community Shop as an independent social enterprise disputes the social oriented model take over and enhance the company’s growth. Comparing the two models, the social oriented model overtakes the business model. It has the social interest at heart whilst making profits therefore much more feasible to the community objectives and corporate social responsibility goals. Community Shop has received 150 media broadcasts as a social enterprise as well as 164 requests by local councils to set up shop in their area. Surpassingly, several bodies also offered to fully fund the installation of shop premises such as the London’s mayor, the UK regeneration board as well as eminent supermarket chains and supporting entities like the food manufacturers and retailers.  It is a model that is in full support of the entire society and will help attain the vocation for “more stock, more stores.”

  1. Communication strategies to stakeholders

Company stakeholders are a significant entity for company operations and consequently, any significant propositions made within the company should be properly relayed to them (see Appendix A). The standard way for communicating to them is via the annual report, a communication tactic offering thoroughly detailed information about the company’s processes, operations, created value, strategic future plans and business models particularly giving focus to customers as they are the core of the business (see Appendix A).

  1. Executive board appointment

A professional, executive board can be nominated to serve as a panel which will provide reinforcement to the top management team and direct attention towards speedy decision making regarding growth. Benedict Cadbury, a non-executive board director, has been contracted to enlist competent, productive and businesslike people who are consistent, ambitious and have strict discipline towards growth.

  1. Partnership model

This measure provides the framework of managing long-lasting and trusted associations with stakeholders. Formerly, Company Shop focused on attaining products from factory managers but now these simple relationships need to advance to heart-to-heart dialogues with the senior management teams of suppliers. This will strengthen the links with the suppliers as well as retail partners, making economic returns and brand integrity of the firm more feasible.


In conclusion, this Company Shop is a well thought social endeavor catering to community engagement but if the organization yearns to fulfill its “more stock’ more stores” goal, it should concentrate its efforts on the social oriented model of the Community Shop and move from merely purchasing products to founding long-term relations with suppliers.


Alexandru, B. & Ioan, P., 2013. Communication strategy about business models: stakeholders perspective. Economic Science, 22(1), pp. 1434-1442.



Appendix A

According to Alexandru, & Ioan, 2013 (2013, 1434-1442.) the best way recommended for communicating any strategic changes, propositions, created value among others is through the annual report. This gives thorough and detailed information to the stakeholders involved in the affairs of a company.