Cancer charity confirms closure of entire charity shop chain

Young Lives vs Cancer has confirmed that its chain of 13 charity shops will close over the next 18 months.

Up to 39 roles will be affected, as well as 300 volunteer posts.

The move follows a consultation over plans to close the stores, which are located across the west of England.

A review found that the shops generated a net income of £450,000, “but that is a low return on investment than the charity can achieve through other income generating activity”, said the charity.

The closures to stores in towns and cities including Bristol, Exeter, Gloucester and Wells will take place between June this year and January 2025.

Four other stores are listed on the charity’s website as currently closed, in Shirehampton, Southampton, Nailsea and Barnstable. In addition, its Exmouth store is now permanently closed.

Its latest annual accounts for 2021/22 show that it made a £1.4m loss on its retail trading. A factor was spending £1m on dealing with “shop dilapidations” as well as “£0.3m central support overheads to trading”.

“The difficult decision to close Young Lives vs Cancer’s chain of charity shops has only been made after detailed consideration of the options,” said Young Lives vs Cancer director income and engagement Luke Mallett.

“Our shops have played a big role in funding our vital services, but as a charity that does not receive sustained government funding, we need to do all we can to raise as much money as we can to run and develop our services for children and young people with cancer.

“We’ve compared the cost of running and maintaining our shops and how much money they raise with other fundraising methods, but the investment needed to run our shops is significant. At a time that costs are rising for everyone but especially for children and young people with cancer and their families, it is vital every investment we make in growing income to deliver our services, and the increasing needs of families, is scrutinised.

“In the instance of retail, it was clear that other income generation channels could in the future generate more, at less of a cost.”

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