The Wokingham Paper

Sales in charity stores grow, bucking retail trends says trade body

Thrift store charity shop
Picture: Carla Burke from Pixabay

SALES in charity shops are growing as people become more environmentally aware, according to the sector’s trade body. 

New figures released today show that the sector bucking the wider commercial retail trend of declining sales, after growing by 3.2% year-on-year. 

The Charity Retail Association says that the average weekly turnover per charity shop rose above £2,500 – the highest figure on record since 2014.

They argue that this could indicate that consumers’ attitudes and behaviours are changing and becoming more environmentally conscious, thus switching to a more sustainable means of shopping such as charity shops.

The Charity Retail Association welcomes the growth in sustainable shopping from consumers and is calling on the Government to support this trend. 

The Environment Bill, currently being considered by Parliament, provides a historic opportunity to increase rates of reuse.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the CRA, said: “It is encouraging that charity shop sales are continuing to grow strongly despite the situation in the wider high street.

“More and more consumers are choosing to buy secondhand goods as a means of reducing their impact on the planet which is one factor supporting the continued growth of charity retail. 

“As Parliament considers the new Environment Bill, we are calling on the Government to get behind this change in consumer behaviour by having a relentless focus on increasing rates of reuse.”

And Mr Osterley said that shoppers were looking to the charity sector to find fun presents for their friends and colleagues. 

“In the run-up to Christmas, awareness of the impact of consumerism on the environment grew, with shoppers choosing charity shops to buy their ‘Secret Santa’ and Christmas gifts,” he said. 

“We hope that the public will continue discovering pre-loved treasures in charity shops and are calling on the government to encourage rates of reuse.

“We hear more and more stories of people who are simply giving up buying new clothes and are instead focusing on the variety, quality and difference provided by shopping in an environment where profits are put into something good. These switches are reflected in the encouraging data and statistics in our latest report.”

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