Where has this year gone?

A question many of us ask on a regular basis. Christmas is already upon us and with the chaos that Black Friday usually brings now behind us, the high street is fully focused on increasing footfall and revenue for the Christmas Shopping period.
In contrast to high street retailers who are facing challenging times, charity retail shops are playing an active role in the revival of the high street by offering alternative products and experiences. According to the latest report from Demos, charity shops make a vital impact to the recovery of the high street when economic conditions start to improve, even becoming some of the last retailers left in high streets hit hard by recession.
As a keen shopper it’s hard to not notice the number of charity shops on my local high street – 9 to be precise. Nestled amongst independent restaurants, gift shops, bars and artisan bakeries, empty shop units are filling up quickly around the resilient charity shops, many of which have been a mainstay of this community for decades. Currently there are over 11,000 charity shops in the UK raising over £270m per year and almost 70% of these are in town centres. So, with high street footfall facing an annual decline of -4.5% what can charity retailers do to increase revenue over the Christmas period?

An Alternative Christmas Shopping Experience

There is no doubt that vintage is on the rise, with many of the Millennial market looking to charity shops for that hidden gem; whether it be an Ossie Clark dress, a Chinese silk robe or 1970’s vinyl – also seeing a revival of its own. Offering an alternative option for Christmas shopping, gifts or party outfits, these specialist shops can really tap into the demand for the unique. Retromania, a specialist shop from FARA charity have, for over 10 years, offered an array of vintage and designer clothing, accessories and knick-knacks, with some items dating back to the Victorian era. Understanding the demand from consumers searching for a vintage Hermes scarf or Chanel handbag can enable charities to offer a more unique and cost-effective Christmas shopping experience that not many high street retailers can compete with.

Online for more diversity

Embracing online shops is something many charity retailers are putting effort into. According to recent research from Barclays, high street retailers are expecting online sales to account for 30% of online spend over the Christmas period this year. Recent weather conditions have also meant that online is becoming more favourable, so why should charities miss out on the extra revenue that online shopping brings? Large charities such as Cancer Research UK and British Red Cross have successfully implemented online stores that provide various delivery and payment methods, including PayPal (CRUK) and the ability to capture Gift Aid accurately. National charity Sense use eBay to sell a mix of eclectic goods online, creating a wider reach for specialist or higher price items that can be ideal Christmas gifts for loved ones.

Christmas Cards and Favours

Charity Christmas cards have always been popular; in fact, the first Christmas card ever sent by V&A founding director Henry Cole had a clear message of celebration and charity. Now there is so much choice and with charities close to many people’s hearts, it’s is so easy to select cards where most, if not all proceeds go to charity. As an important fund raiser for charities it is essential that charity retailers of all sizes take advantage of this popular way to increase revenue for such fantastic causes.
Why not make your New Year’s resolution the decision to implement these important steps and ensure you capture extra revenue for your Charity by Christmas 2018!


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