Our shops continue to over perform

Press release: Charity retailers continue to over perform, even in a challenging trading environment

The Charity Retail Association has launched its latest Quarterly Market Analysis (QMA), analysing the performance of the charity retail sector in the third quarter of 2018.

The report makes it clear that the high street remains a challenging environment for any retailer to do business in.  Despite this, charity retailers continue to report small but positive growth, and as a sector they continue to outperform commercial retail.

Overall income:
In July–September 2018, like-for-like income including Gift Aid tax reclaims increased by 0.9 per cent from July–September 2017, and like-for-like income excluding Gift Aid tax reclaims saw an increase of 0.6 per cent on the previous year.

This is driven by an increase in the number customer of sales of 0.8 per cent compared to the same period as last year.  This works out as an average increase in transactions of five per shop per day compared to Q3 in 2017.

An increase in sales made is important, as the average transaction value in a charity shop remains low at just £4.37.  The majority of these sales are still for donated goods.  In Q3 82.2 per cent of charity income was from donated goods sales whilst income from bought-in goods decreased by 4.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis against July–September 2017; and made up 4.8 per cent of sales this quarter.

These figures compare favourably to the high street as a whole.  According to the British Retail Consortium non-food retail sales in the UK declined by 1.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis in this quarter.

The future:
Charity retailers on the whole remain cautiously up beat.  66 charities responded to this section of the QMA.  56 per cent of charities expect charity retail performance to stay the same over the next three months, 41 per cent expect it to improve and just three per cent expect it to get worse.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association said:

“These figures demonstrate that charity retail is a vibrant and cherished part of the UK high street, as our members continue to outperform the retail sector as a whole.  They also show how much of our sector’s income still derives from the most traditional of sources; individuals buying quality donated items at low affordable prices.”


Notes to editors

The report can be downloaded from here.

The Charity Retail Association is the only body representing the UK’s charity shops.  We have nearly 400 members ranging for national chains to individual hospice shops and they make up 80 per cent of all charity shops across the UK.

For more information, please contact Matt Kelcher, Head of Public Affairs on matt@charityretail.org.uk or 020 7697 4075

To increase footfall and help our members make an even greater number of sales we are strongly pushing our #GoodCauseSantaClaus message this Christmas, which encourages people to buy their “secret Santa” gifts in charity stores