New initiative allows thousands of bars to covert to shops during COVID-19 crisis

01 April, 2020

A new initiative promises to transform shuttered British bars into click and collect food stores during the coronavirus crisis.

The UK government ordered all bars, pubs and restaurants to shut their doors as authorities battle to contain the COVID-19 spread. A group called StarStock has now set up a website called to give pubs the opportunity to accept click and collect orders online and sell household staples.

The service was launched in partnership with Budweiser Brewing Group (the UK arm of AB Inbev), Coca-Cola European Partners, food wholesaler Brakes and campaign group Use Your Local.

Admiral Taverns said it would make the initiative available to its 1,000 pubs and Greene King, which operates more than 1,000 venues, is also backing the scheme, along with St Austell.

Brakes will open up the service to the 15,000 pubs it usually wholesales food to. Venues will be offered a food shop starter kit.

Each transaction made via will accrue a 2% fee to cover operational costs. However, the venture is being run as a non-profit, with any surplus revenue donated directly to the NHS.

Sam Ulph, founder and chief executive of StarStock, said: “We are all aware of what is happening around us, and in these exceptional times this is a vital way for pubs to stay connected, offer an essential service and to secure an income stream during a period when they are unable to trade in their normal way. It will also help to alleviate the pressure on other grocery shops and the supermarkets.  

“This initiative is much more than an online pub service. It’s entirely focused on helping communities and we hope that it will drive positivity for pubs and champion the people that run them as the local heroes they are.”

Joby Mortimer, head of pubs at Brakes, added: “The pub has been the cornerstone of communities for hundreds of years, and long may that continue – and we hope this initiative will maintain the connection between the pub and their customers, whilst also engaging even more consumers with the Great British local.” 

Admiral chief executive Chris Jowsey said: “Our pubs sit at the heart of their communities, so we’re expecting a good take up of this service so that many of them can act as essential goods stations and support people as best they can.”

Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton added: “Publicans care deeply about their communities and in this current crisis it has been uplifting to hear time and time again about pubs going above and beyond to give so much back to their neighbours and friends.

“We have been working around the clock to offer support to our partners, and now teaming up with StarStock to introduce mypubshop gives our publicans who had maybe wanted to help – but weren’t sure how – the tools to step forward to help their communities. We couldn’t be more proud to support this excellent initiative.” 

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