A new survey reveals that recession has encouraged 13%
of cash-strapped Brits to turn to charity outlets to help
stretch their budget and around six million people are now
reliant to some degree on charity shops.
The economic situation has also encouraged more people
to become charitable, with one-in-five (21%) of the population
donating more goods.
According to the survey, women are more generous than
men: just over half (51%) of the women questioned were charity
shop donors before the recession and an additional 23% have
now started donating.
These figures are revealed in a new study conducted by
independent research company YouGov on behalf of specialist
charity insurer Ecclesiastical.
According to the survey, the recession has caused a mini
boom for charity shops in terms of both new shoppers and
As well as encouraging more people through their doors,
it has increased the frequency of visits by existing charity
shoppers with almost one-in-five (18%) visiting more frequently
than two years ago.
Of those respondents who buy goods from charity shops,
the top five favourite items that bargain hunters are on
the lookout for are:
1 Books, which 65% purchase
2 Clothes (45%)
3 Household items (32%)
4 DVDs/videos (24%)
5 Music (15%)
Motives for purchasing are dominated by support for the
charity with two thirds (66%) of the respondents giving
this as their main reason for charity shopping, with low
prices (47%) and value for money (44%) also being important
According to the survey, the recession has also caused
two in 10 people (21%) to start donating goods to charities,
although charities themselves are reporting a shortage of
stock. Oxfam, which operates a chain of 714 shops nationally,
is the latest to express concern saying that donations have
fallen by 12% so far this year.
Steve Wood of Ecclesiastical Insurance said: “The
number of new charity shoppers is a reflection of the pressure
the recession is putting on people’s spending power.
We’re simply not hitting the high street like we once
were so we’re turning to better value and cheaper
"This should be good news for charities who are seeing
a decline in cash donations. It also appears that more people
are giving goods to charity shops and that those who have
always done so are giving more. This should also offer charities
more support in difficult times.”
Total sample size was 2,140 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken
between May 1 and 5 2009. The survey was carried out online.