Comment: BRAND C: next generation charity shops
There are many who say that charity shops blight the high street. By Mike Phillips
It’s true that a sizeable percentage of the UK public don’t like them. But then on the other hand, half the population do shop in them.
Those who are concerned about high street blight point to the fact that the UK has the world’s highest concentrations of charity shops in our town centres. So why is that?
For a start, we are a nation of givers. The charity market, nowadays called the third sector, was worth £53.9bn in 2009/10 and employed some 765,000 people. (source Charities Commission). Our Royal National Lifeboat Institute, for example, covers the whole coastal waters of the UK but receives not a penny from central Government coffers.
The British are amazingly generous to the point that we are the #1 western nation in the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) league tables for giving up our hard won cash. So the key issue for the UK High Street is whether there is another workable modality for charities to receive donations without having a shop presence. And because chuggers are getting quite a bad name nowadays, there are not any obvious answers.
Local councils and landlords faced with an increasing number of empty shops thought it would be a good wheeze to lease them to charities, and, for good measure, give them a whopping 80% discount off their business rates too.
However, looking at the bigger picture, there is one way that our town centres and high streets will survive.
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Mike Phillips MBA MCIM, Managing Director, Purepages Group Limited
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