The latest edition of the annual Charity Shops Survey, produced by Civil Society and sponsored by the Charity Retail Association, has revealed a small decrease in the number of charity shops in the UK. This is the first time in 15 years’ that numbers have decreased, with respondents reporting 12 fewer shops in total than last year.
However, profits in the sector have increased, with retail income rising by 3.8 per cent. Costs have risen by 3.9 per cent, which is lower than last year.
Writing in the survey, Charity Retail Association Chief Executive, Robin Osterley, said: “After two years of declining profitability across the sector it is with some relief and satisfaction that we are able to observe a significant increase in profitability this year.
“This bears out our suspicion from recent years that there was somewhat of a “perfect storm” of cost pressures affecting charity retail; whether in staffing costs from pension auto-enrolment, the National Living Wage and the Apprenticeship Levy, from increased rents, or from other significant headwinds.
“Now that these significant changes have worked their way through the system, there is a return to a more normal pattern of trading and further proof, if any were needed, of the resilience of the sector.”
The Charity Shops survey, priced at £99, is available to purchase from Civil Society now.