British Red Cross puts brakes on charity shop plans

Expansion plans on hold due to the recession

The British Red Cross has put on hold plans to open 100 new charity shops by 2011 because of the recession.

The humanitarian organisation, which has 330 shops, developed a retail investment plan in 2006 that included opening 20 outlets a year for five years.

The plan was also aimed at modernising existing shops by refurbishing them and standardising their appearance.

But a spokeswoman told Third Sector last week it was no longer aggressively pursuing an opening strategy. "Because of the current financial climate, the investment plan is on hold," she said.

The Red Cross has this year closed stores in Buckingham, Farnborough, Stockton-on-Tees and Tunstall in Staffordshire. "We expect there may be another three closures this year," the spokeswoman said.

She added that the charity planned to open seven new stores this year.

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