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Five benefits of a community store

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

We thank all of loyal customers for having been very vocal in support of buying local! Compiled from the findings of our customer survey, below is a list of the top benefits of our store.


Overwhelmingly it seems our shop is being used as a top up. Highest usage is weekly – followed by occasional use. Many residents pointed out that no longer having to get the car out to go to the supermarket to pick up milk or bread during the week is a huge benefit.

I really love using the store and would rather go in several times a week to pick up 'extras' than to go to the supermarket.

Community feel

There is no doubt that supporting the community gives residents a warm and fuzzy feeling as so many residents and locals cited this as the main reason they liked shopping at the store. The shop has helped to create a much greater sense of community in the village, which is heartening. There was a groundswell of praise and love for the volunteers and the friendly welcome they provide. You won’t get that level of familiarity at the supermarket check out!

I think it (the shop) is marvellous and you’re providing an excellent service for the community

Environmental impact

Whilst nobody made the claim that they shopped at the local store because it was “good for the environment’’, the combination of comments around buying local produce, ditching the car to walk to the shop instead means that by shopping local we are all inadvertently “doing our bit for the environment.”

According to the Plunkett Foundation In addition to sourcing local food with lower food miles, community shops save rural residents car journeys to alternative food stores, saving on average an 8 mile round trip. Community shops collectively are estimated to save 4 million miles of car journeys a year.

Detling community store is not only convenient but green. As far as possible we try to cut back on plastic and make paper bags widely available. Our range of refillable cleaning products, oils and vinegars are widely used by a growing number of people who want to shop with a conscience.

Supporting local producers

There’s no doubt about it – Detling shoppers love buying local produce! Local produced items of food came out as the favourite things to buy in the store. Residents enthused about our sausage rolls, the cheeses, wines and savoury snacks. Supermarkets beware!

Value for money

This may come as a bit of a surprise when you consider the price cutting wars in the supermarkets but two thirds of our residents said they thought the shop provided value for money. Ok, you may have to pay a few more pennies for a tin of baked beans but when you consider you are buying quality not quantity, and you factor in the zero transport costs, this makes common sense.

We expect to pay a bit more for local shop but overall the shop has great range of items and it saves getting the car out and travelling to supermarket when you do not need a huge shop.


Our survey findings give a definite thumbs up to our little store and show that the great British institution – the village shop – is alive and well.

Did you know that community shops are a resilient form of business? The figures below from the Plunkett foundation suggest that our future looks bright, provided of course that we continue to support our customers and provide for their needs.


Success rate of community shops


Average small business success rate

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