Bargain hunters queue up at ‘gone past best’ warehouse for half-price food

Bargain hunters queue up at ‘gone past best’ warehouse for half-price food

Savvy shoppers are buying ‘gone past its best’ food and drinks for half its usual price at unique warehouse supermarkets up and down the country.

Roger’s Wholesale opened its fifth branch in Stockport on Saturday, having already opened its doors to excited customers in Poole, Plymouth, Southampton and Bilston.

Masked shoppers eager for a bargain queued up outside the warehouse on the Bredbury Park Industrial Estate, Stockport, before flooding in to have their pick of the bargains.

Great towers of tinned food stacked up on huge pallets and row-upon-row of colourful drink bottles greeted the shoppers as they rushed inside.

Bargains on offer include 24 Lucoade originals in a case for just £7, 2.5kg of Honeycomb Cinder Toffee for £3 and 12 Starbucks Double Shot Intenso for £4.

The store’s managing Mark King, 46, said he was inspired to open the huge warehouse stores after becoming “annoyed” about the amount of food waste.

He said : “I myself hit hard times and had lost my job through no fault of my own and did not have much money.

“I was struggling to afford to feed myself even though I had no kids or family.

“People who are homeless are covered by good charities and get a lot of help from supermarkets.”

The scenes moments after Roger’s opened were reminiscent of the first lockdown back in March, when shoppers piled food and drink into trolleys and baskets to stock up on essentials.

Mask and glove wearing shoppers streamed into the store, enthusiastically wheeling their trolleys around the colourful, maze like aisles.

They were channelling a bulk buying energy seen in supermarkets up and down the land since the pandemic first began.

While empty shelves have not been as common in sight in the third national lockdown as they were in the first, many Brits are still doing extra big shops to avoid making too many trips out.

At the beginning of January pictures emerged of supermarket shelves being stripped of frozen and cupboard goods.

The need for affordable food has never been so vital, especially with many people left unable to work during the Covid crisis and not able to access government financial support.

The hunger charity The Trussell Trust’s most recent analysis forecasted a 61 per cent increase in food parcels needed across its UK network in October to December, which works out as six parcels given out every minute.

During the start of the pandemic, around half of people who used a food bank had never needed one before, the charity added.

Trust chief executive Emma Revie said: “Throughout 2020 communities across the country have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money.

“Volunteers in foodbanks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials.

“But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food, at any time of year.”

Those thinking of heading to Roger’s Wholesale in search of salad ingredients or a tipple might want to think again.

The bargain store does not sell any fresh produce or alcohol.