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Latest News

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  • Income Report Media Coverage

    Our latest report on income figures in the sector has received significant media coverage in the trade and national press. This has included been interviewed on Radio 4 and Radio 2 recently about the rise of income and the new initiatives that our members are using, such as eBay shops and pop up shops.
    >> Listen to the interviews

  • AGM and Exhibition booking now open
    Booking is now open for our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 5 November, our popular, free networking event in London open to CRA members only. An agenda will be available nearer the time, but make sure you secure your place quickly as we expect to be fully booked this year.
    >> Book here
  • Half price membership coming soon, September 2014
    Not been a member of the CRA before? To mark the half way point of the membership year, we offer half price membership to those who want a taster of what CRA membership is all about. Take advantage of an inspiring events agenda, our dedicated lobbying and media resources, guidance, benchmarking reports and more, to find out how we can help you make the most of your charity retail operation. >> Read more
  • Property Group minutes now available for members
    From June 2014, including a presentation from Alastair Mant, Director, Head of Sustainability at GVA Property Consultancy
    >> Log in to view here
  • Chief Executive of the CRA to retire January 2015
    On 30 June the CRA announced that Warren Alexander, will retire in January 2015. Over the past five years his leadership has led the Charity Retail Association through key changes, reached record levels of membership and made the CRA the key sector body for charity retailers.
    Ben Merrett, Chair of the CRA Board paid tribute, saying "Warren has made an outstanding contribution to the CRA and the sector as a whole. He has overseen a modernisation of the CRA, achieved record growth in membership numbers and secured important wins in government for all charity retailers." The recruitment process for a new Chief Executive will commence shortly.
  • Shadow Foreign Secretary visits DEBRA shop
    Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander MP visited the DEBRA shop in his constituency of Paisley on 6 June. He praised the charity shop for its efforts in funding care and support services, as well as offering Paisley shoppers a great range of goods, and providing training opportunity for young people to get valuable experience in the retail industry.
    >> Read more

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Quick links

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green lineCharity Retail Conference 2014

Charity Retail Conference 2014

Our 2014 Conference was our biggest ever, with more delegates, speakers and awards, this packed two-day event was a roaring success. The theme of this year’s event was Innovate for Success and delegates heard from a wide range of speakers, from both inside and out of the sector, about how to stay ahead of the curve, embrace new ideas and move with the times. A few of the highlights included;

  • A master-class session run by John Timpson, Chair of the Timpson group, which looked at how his way of management could be used in the charity retail sector
  • Over 50 exhibitors from a variety of sectors
  • The Charity Retail Awards gala dinner, with 20 individual awards presented to a range of retail chains, volunteers, suppliers and individual charity shops
  • A packed plenary address from Mark Astarita, Chair of the Institute of Fundraising
  • Lisa Nandy MP, shadow minister for Civil Society - she told delegates that she wanted to celebrate charity shops in the broadest sense of what they do and what they mean for people.

>> Read the full report here

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Social value of charity shops

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The past few weeks have seen the CRA undertake a range of activity to inform key stakeholders about the social value that charity shops bring to high streets and the ground-breaking report we commissioned from the think tank Demos, Giving Something Back. We presented at the All Party Parliamentary group on Town Centres chaired by Marcus Jones MP, outlining the social value that charity shops bring to local communities through the provision of jobs, volunteering opportunities and recycling, as well as the economic impacts they have on town centres in bringing in footfall and occupying units which could otherwise be empty.

We also hosted a breakfast roundtable on 12 May bringing together charity Chief Executives to discuss the report and the future role of charity retail. The meeting was chaired by Paul Farmer of Mind, and attendees included Simon Gillespie of the British Heart Foundation, Richard Hawkes of Scope, Dr Jane Collins of Marie Curie Cancer Care and Denise Hatton of YMCA England. The discussion focused on how charities could measure the social value of their charity shops and communicate this to their local communities.

One of the major recommendations from Giving Something Back was the creation of a Social Value Toolkit. We are currently developing this work and hope once completed it will be used by our members to measure the positive impacts they have outside of their fundraising.

Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive Officer, Marie Curie Cancer Care said
“Giving Something Back, is the first piece of independent research to give us the hard evidence of the social value of charity retail. It challenges us to think what it might mean for the charity we lead.”

You can read the full report here.