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Charity Retail Association plans fightback over charity shop donations

By Sophie Hudson, Third Sector Online, 29 June 2011

Charity shop stock

Charity shop stock

Chair David Cryer says 'real threat' of bogus collectors must be dealt with

The Charity Retail Association is launching a "major fightback" in a bid to tackle the growing problem of stock intake at charity shops, members will hear.

David Cryer, chair of the CRA, said in a statement released before the association's annual conference next week that charity shops were facing huge challenges in securing donated clothes and goods.

"Bogus collectors and people offering to pay for bags of clothes are taking stock away from shops and are presenting a real threat," he said.

"The conference is going to hear about a major exercise undertaken by the CRA to help our members fight back and to make sure that they can continue to raise millions of pounds for charity."

Warren Alexander, chief executive of the CRA, told Third Sector that some of its members had held a meeting to discuss the main problems facing charity shops.

He said the consultancy Acona had been brought in to help manage the discussions and four problems were identified. These were: compliance with codes of practice; innovative ways of finding stock; collaboration among charities; and raising awareness among the public of how charities benefit from donations.

Alexander said the CRA had set up four groups to discuss practical solutions in each of these areas, and members could join them. By the end of August, a decision would be made on what solutions should be tested, he said.

"Together, the high price of rag on the world market, which has resulted in increasing numbers of crooks selling it, the rise in legitimate rag dealers and the recession, which means people are buying fewer clothes, have all put pressure on charity stock intake," he said.

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