Charity shop recovery at risk due to local lockdowns

The summer recovery of charity shop sales is at threat from new regional Covid 19 lockdown restrictions, a report has warned.

Monthly like-for-like charity shop sales were down over the summer but steadily improved between July and September, according to latest figures.

While sales were down -44.7% in July, they recovered to -28.6% in August and to -21.1% in September.

The figures have been revealed by accountancy firm BDO in its High Street Sales Tracker, which looked at the sales of more than 2,500 charity shops.

But BDO warns that local lockdown measures in the highest alert level regions are set to see a significant negative impact on footfall for charity shops. Currently a number of cities and towns across the UK, including Liverpool and Manchester, are in Tier 3, the highest alert level.

Footfall and staffing have been highlighted by charity shops as key challenges they are already facing due to the pandemic, said BDO.

Fiona Condron, charity retail partner at BDO said: “While we have seen a steady recovery in charity store sales over the last three months as more shops have reopened, major uncertainties remain.

“In normal circumstances, the lead-up to Christmas should be a key period for many charity retailers, but new local lockdown restrictions are already impacting high street footfall and staffing availability, both of which risk blowing the recovery off course. While many commercial players can rely on online sales channels to compensate for lost high street custom, many charities aren’t so lucky.

“With so much uncertainty ahead, charities may need to rethink their approach by avoiding over-reliance on future charity store revenues and refocusing their efforts on diversifying their revenue streams.”

The tracker also found that medium sized retailers reported the strongest results for their charity shops and large charities did well in the new goods category.

In September BDO’s High Street Tracker detailed a surge in donations of stock to charity shops over the summer. In August St Barnarbas Hospice announced it had been forced to suspend donations after receiving 50 tonnes of items in a month.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories

How to elevate your non-profit storytelling with data and performance metrics.
Sage Intacct the non-profit financial management platform, takes a look at giving trends and insights.

What has the pandemic taught us about the public’s perception of charities?
In this episode of the Charity Times Leadership podcast, we take a look at what the pandemic has taught us about the public’s perception of charities. Charity fundraising platform, Enthuse, recently released its quarterly donor research study, which highlighted significant shifts in donor behaviour throughout the duration of the pandemic. Not only does the report highlight an overarching sense of positivity towards the sector, but a propensity for younger generations to give more generously, too. Lauren Weymouth is joined by Enthuse CEO, Chester Mojay-Sinclare to discuss more.

The importance of the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’
In this episode, Lauren Weymouth is joined by Ketan Patel, equities fund manager at EdenTree, to delve into the issue of social investment and why that all-important ‘S’ in ESG is more relevant now than ever before. The social element of ESG often gets forgotten when thinking about investing in more ethical and sustainable ways. But, after a challenging year for all areas of society, social injustice has been highlighted, and there’s a much greater need for charities to put people at the heart of their investment decisions.