Twenty new Wishes stores will be opened this year, more than doubling the number of stores and taking the total number to 34. The chain will be the first charity-owned business selling solely new products in the UK and will trade under the same trading arm as CRUK’s existing chain of 600 high street shops – the largest number of any British charity.
The first Wishes shop was opened in 2004. Neville Wood, head of retail marketing and development at CRUK said: “We have slowly been testing the concept since then. By introducing the pilot shops, it gave a good indication of their popularity and success.”
He said the charity had recognised “a gap in the market for a well chosen range of stylish, contemporary cards and gifts at competitive prices, presented in an innovative, customer friendly environment”.
He said: “There is evidence that, given the choice, people making a routine card purchase would like the fact that it was aiding the fight against cancer.”
The shops, to be staffed almost entirely by volunteers, will also contain access points to CRUK’s CancerHelp website and the charity’s main site.
"It’s still early days for Wishes, but I’m confident that the chain will make up a significant part of the retail department’s profit portfolio," Wood said.