Christchurch shop owner creates store for short-dated products at cheaper price

The cost of living crisis has prompted one Christchurch shop owner to change his approach to selling groceries.

Shawn Thomas is carving out a market for short-dated products, as consumers look for cheaper alternatives.

"BargainMe is a convenience store, plus a short-dated end-of-line and clearance store," said BargainMe Director Shawn Thomas said.

Selling perfectly good products at a more affordable price.

"A little bit of damage on the box here, but it's perfectly fine to eat. When it comes to the date, its frozen use by 2023," explained Thomas holding up a frozen vegan mince and cheese pie.

Making it easier for families to put food on the table.

"We tell a lot of our customers it's best before not worse after and a lot of customers love that kind of thing. So it's getting food $2, $3, $4 less than supermarkets," he said.

The concept has gone down well with locals.

"It's just great prices for pretty much what you get at the supermarket, so may as well get it here," one shopper said.

Another customer shopping for work lunches said BargainMe was "absolutely perfect" for their budget. 

"[It] means I can have myself a couple of pies for work and not break my bank," they said.

A third customer agreed the prices are what keeps them coming back. 

"The affordability that it offers to consumers just like me," they said.

The store has already had 30,000 customers through its doors since it opened in March.

"I think because the cost of living is going up and people are really feeling the pinch, innovative models to do things differently and do things cheaply is really really important," Christchurch Central Ward City Councillor Jake McLellan said.

This supermarket is doing things differently by giving products a second life and another avenue for suppliers to make use of stock, which will not get bought by the big players.

BargainMe is also tackling food waste, in the seven months since they opened they have saved five tonnes of food from going to landfill.

Demand for the store has Thomas looking to expand further.

"If we know we have more stores we can definitely make sure we can get more stock and spread it around the South Island," Thomas said.

Setting his sights on helping even more consumers snag a bargain.