Top deals on offer at shop selling food past its best before date
It’s the latest retail phenomenon – a giant warehouse where stock is past its best before date.
Rogers Wholesale Foods has opened its fourth UK store, bringing bargains to shoppers in the Black Country.
The company owns stores in Poole, Plymouth and Southampton and on January 26 it opened its first warehouse in the West Midlands.
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Since then queues are a frequent sight at the store, with people often waiting hours to get inside.
The aim of the business is to pick up food and drinks past its best before date, and short dated, and sell them in bulk for a fraction of the price.
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Since opening, thousands of shoppers have flocked to the warehouse on Beldray Park in Bilston in search of a bargain, meaning checkout queues reached two-hour waits, while hundreds of people queued outside the store two hours before it opened.
Mark Lyne, store director, said: “It’s being going really well and everything is selling quickly, especially the smaller lunchbox-size items.
“As soon as things get re-stocked it’s gone again in no time, it’s a constant process.
“It’s been so manic that we’ve even stopped writing posts on Facebook and social media because too many people were turning up, and despite that people are still coming.
“We’re hiring more staff at the moment too, we’re advertising for it, we need more people as it’s just that busy.
“We have so many different types of people coming here, so many different demographics.
“It’s important to get the best items that will last, certain things don’t last so we just don’t buy them.”
The group maintains that the aim of its stores is to ‘help out’ people in need, while stopping edible food from going to waste.
Managing director Mark King said: “It’s been a brilliant start. The customers are loving it, we’ve managed to solve problems with big queues now as it was a bit manic at first.
“We underestimated how popular it would be in Bilston but it’s good for business and we’re happy to help people out.
“We’ve wanted to come to the Midlands for a long time. People are struggling and there isn’t a lot of jobs around, so it’s important to help people out and save money on food.
“Around seven million tonnes of good food is wasted each year, that’s ludicrous when people are starving. For us it’s important for people to know products last way past the best before date.
“People need to be educated on this, the use by date on meats and some cheeses is usually right as people can get violently ill by not listening to that, but with the best before it’s not the case, it just affects taste, texture and colour.”
The Bilston store has been a winner with shoppers with many of them packing their cars with bargains. Dawn Jenkinson, aged 54, from Wolverhampton, said: “We saw it on Facebook and thought we’d come down. It’s a great idea, it will go to waste otherwise and it helps people at the same time.
“The cost of living is up and wages aren’t, so it’s a good thing.”
Julie Roberts, aged 55, from Willenhall, said: “I came out of curiosity, I saw it on Facebook and a friend of mine had come down before too.
"It’s a great idea and you can come with families members and split the cost too, so it’s worth it.
"People are feeling the pinch so it’s a good idea to help them.
"It’ll make a real difference to people in this area.”
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