Oxfam Christmas retail sales hit eight-year high

Oxfam’s 2019 Christmas sales hit highs not seen since 2011, despite a challenging year for the charity and for the high street.

The charity’s retail sales climbed by seven per cent over the Christmas period, bucking the trend seen among many high street retailers who have noticed a significant slump as shoppers opt web-based competitors.

Oxfam’s high street sales in the week before Christmas (15-21 December) were the highest since 2011, and sales of donated items on the Oxfam Online Shop during the nine-week festive trading period rose by 11 per cent. Overall, this Christmas marked Oxfam’s best performance in eight years.

The charity’s total sales over the period exceeded £19.3 million, representing a seven per cent increase on the same time in 2018, and a five per cent rise like-for-like, which means an extra £1.28 million was raised for the charity’s work.

Oxfam said the growth of sales come at a ‘welcome time’ for the organisation as it faces a challenging funding environment.

The rise in sales also showcased a wider trend in shoppers looking for more ethical purchases.
The charity’s range of ethically sourced and sustainable new products, Sourced by Oxfam, helped drive the growth, with sales of this range rising by 13 per cent.

Oxfam attributes this to the move towards anti-plastic and environmentally friendly products, with shoppers seeking recycled gift wrap and non-plastic containing crackers.

Andrew Horton, Oxfam’s trading director said: “This Christmas sales performance is an encouraging sign that the public loves getting quality, ethical products at fair prices and that our stores are places people enjoy popping into. They are important parts of their local communities."

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