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Latest News

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  • CRA nominated for acclaimed award

    We have been shortlisted for a 2014 Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Excellence Award, the public relations profession’s most prestigious annual awards scheme. The campaign by the CRA and Equinox Communications against restrictions to business rate relief for charity shops has had a material financial impact on charities in Wales and their ability to fundraise through retailing. The campaign generated significant Welsh media coverage and support from Welsh Assembly Members and included the submission of one of the largest petitions that the Welsh Assembly has ever received, with over 22,600 signatures from members of the public against the proposals. The CRA will now be put through its paces through a face-to-face interview from a team of expert judges, before the winners are finally chosen and announced at the CIPR Excellence Awards black tie dinner at Old Billingsgate, London on Tuesday 17 June 2014.

  • PPL Music Licence - Update

    Recently some members have been in touch to say that music licensing authority PPL have been advising them that the CRA administers the music licence process. This is not the case. If you require a licence you need to apply through PPL as the CRA does not take any role in issuing them. We have written to PPL to advise them that they need to change their advice around this issue; we shall keep you updated with any news and information.  If you do receive information from PPL saying that we issue licences please email us at

  • Political influencing
    We regularly meet with national politicians and stakeholders in the retail sector to put forward the views of our members and promote the social and economic value they bring to high streets and communities. Most recently this has included several constituency MPs - for example Ann Coffey, who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Retail Group - and industry figures such as Helen Dickinson, Director General of the British Retail Consortium. Read the Demos Giving Something Back report which evidences the economic and social value of charity shops.

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Quick links

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green lineAwards 2013

The Charity Retail Awards 2014

The only awards made specifically for charity retail

The entry period is now open.

Awards brochure 2014 Download the Awards brochure

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Giving Something Back: the social value of charity shops

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We commissioned the leading think tank, Demos, to evidence the social and economic value of charity shops. Demos subsequently published a report, Giving Something Back, which found that charity shops act as a life support on British high streets, providing a number of benefits for local businesses, residents and communities. An in-depth study into the value of charity shops found they keep people shopping on their high street and reduce the number of empty shops, challenging the perception that they fuel high street decline.

Business benefits include keeping high streets buzzing and providing opportunities for unemployed people to gain experience and skills. There are wider social benefits for older volunteers and customers who rely on shops to interact with local community and ward off loneliness and isolation. The report also highlights several examples of charities using their shops to deliver advice and services to the public.

In addition, charity shops are on the frontline of the fight against unemployment. Over 80% of volunteers stated that they were using their shifts as an opportunity to ‘skill up’, gaining retail experience as a path to paid employment.

The report was sponsored by the Charity Retail Association. You can read the full report here.

green lineWestminster Theatre, Keele

Charity Retail Conference,
Exhibition and Awards 2014  

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The Charity Retail Conference 2014 will take place on 30 June and 1 July and we are proud to say that it will be our biggest ever.

The priority booking period for CRA members is now open
You should have received your Eventbrite invitation and password. Please make sure you have renewed your membership for 2014-15 before booking.

For charities with 5 shops or fewer, you may be able to take advantage of our bursary scheme, sponsored by RTS Textile Recyclers. See here for details, T&Cs and application.

A few of the highlights include;

  • Keynote address by Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Civil Society Minister 
  • a masterclass session by John Timpson former CEO of Timpson shoes  
  • Mark Astarita, Chair of IoF delivering a plenary session
  • Networking opportunities with charity retailers and suppliers.

And, for the first time ever we shall be running sessions aimed at charities of various sizes too from national chains to charities with one shop. The full schedule can be viewed here, in the Conference brochure.

Booking open to all from 19 April.