Three charities experienced a significant increase in the income generated through their charity shops over the Christmas period compared with the previous year.
Oxfam announced today that its sales for the five-week period to 31 December 2011 were up by 11 per cent compared with the same period in 2010. For some products, such as homewares and clothing, the increase was as much as 25 per cent.
But Oxfam experienced a serious decline in donations of items to its shops in the past year. A spokeswoman said: "We tend to do well when it’s a tough economic climate, but donations go down because people hold on to old stuff."
A spokeswoman for Age UK said its shops experienced a 21 per cent increase in sales in December 2011 compared with the previous year. She said the charity had worked hard to achieve the increase but it could have also been partly due to better weather this year than last.
"Nevertheless, stock remains the single most important issue facing our Age UK shops," she said.
A spokeswoman for the British Red Cross said its shops had also experienced an increase in sales in the Christmas period of 2011 compared with 2010. But she said it was difficult to attribute this to any one factor because of the bad snowfall in December 2010 and because the charity’s shops had held events in the run-up to Christmas in 2011.