Average weekly charity shop turnover the highest since 2014

The Charity Retail Association's quarterly market analysis says turnover in the last three months of 2019 rose to more than £2,500 on average

Charity shops: on a roll
Charity shops: on a roll

The average weekly turnover at charity shops has risen to its highest point since 2014, according to new figures from the Charity Retail Association.

The CRA’s quarterly market analysis, which looks at sales at the 5,315 shops run by the umbrella body’s members, reveals that in the last three months of 2019 average weekly turnover rose to more than £2,500.

The sales figures show a year-on-year growth of 3.2 per cent. By contrast, commercial retail fell by about 1 per cent in the same period, according to the CRA.

The CRA figures echo the findings last month of the Charity Retail Sales Tracker, which tracks like-for-like sales at 4,000 charity stores and is produced by the accountancy firm BDO, which said that charity shops had experienced three consecutive months of growth in quarter four of 2019.

Oxfam also reported its best Christmas period for eight years in 2019, with sales in the charity's shops totalling £19.3m over the festive period, up by £1.3m on the previous year.

In a statement, the CRA said the uptick in sales 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”.

Robin Osterley, chief executive of the CRA, said: “More and more consumers are choosing to buy second-hand goods as a means of reducing their impact on the planet, which is one factor supporting the continued growth of charity retail.”

He said that in the run-up to Christmas, which is the period covered by the results, shoppers were more conscious of the impact of consumerism on the environment and had turned to charity shops for Secret Santa and Christmas gifts.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

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