Co-operative retailing scheme The People's Supermarket could be rolled out across the UK.

Founder Arthur Potts Dawson claimed he had been swamped with calls for advice on how to set up similar schemes since 6 February, when the first episode of a Channel 4 TV series charting the store's progress aired.

The shop also got further publicity this week following a visit from David Cameron to highlight his vision of the Big Society.

"I have to be very careful about what I say but all the big cities across England are asking about this," he told The Grocer this week. "It's not going to be rolled out overnight but if people want this we can give it to their communities."

The People's Super­market is a member-owned co-operative that aims to create a sustainable food supply model by connecting an urban community with local farmers.

It claims it can compete on price with the mults and give fairer prices to suppliers because of its unique structure. Members pay £25 a year and must work at least four hours a month at the store, which opened last June in Bloomsbury, London. In return they get a stake in the business, a say in how it is run and 10% off all purchases.

In the past fortnight, membership had topped 500. "We've been getting 90 new members a week since we've been on TV before we were getting 20 a week," said Potts Dawson.

"Takings are up dramatically and we are past break even, which is what we need after six months of bad trading. We need another six months of good trading to even it out."

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People’s Supermarket gets a boost from TV show (Convenience Store; 16 February 2011)
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