Charity shops will lose £28m a month during second lockdown, Charity Retail Association warns

But despite the impact of the restrictions, shops will find it easier to reopen because coronavirus safety measures are already in place, the umbrella body says

The second national lockdown in England will cost the sector at least £28m in lost shop revenue, the Charity Retail Association has warned. 

From Thursday, all non-essential shops, including charity shops, in England will be required to close until 2 December in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. 

In September, the CRA estimated that charity shops had already lost more than £285m in customer sales during the pandemic

As the sector prepares for a second lockdown, Robin Osterley, chief executive of the CRA, told Third Sector: “Every month charity shops are closed is a loss of £28m, so that’s the minimum we expect to see as a result of this new lockdown. 

“It’s not good news for all concerned, but we understand the need for a lockdown and we appreciate you have to look at the big picture.”

He said the CRA expected charity shops to find it easier to reopen than they did after the previous lockdown ended in June, because they have already put safety measures in place to reduce the risk of transmission. 

Charity shops received an influx of donations following the previous lockdown, as people took the opportunity of spending more time at home to clear out unwanted items. 

One charity, St Barnabas Hospice, which operates 26 stores in Lincolnshire, was forced to stop accepting donations after two weeks in July when it received more than 15,000 bags and boxes of donations – weighing about 50 tonnes – to its stores and a drive-through donation centre it had set up. 

Osterley said that while “donations have remained higher than expected since June”, and people would be saving anything they had planned to donate in November until December, he did not expect charity shops to be hit by the same level of donations once they reopen.

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