Charity Shop

Charity retailers outperform wider retail sector

Charity retail continues to perform well in comparison to the wider retail market. This is according to figures in our latest Quarterly Market Analysis. Charity retail like-for-like consumer sales increased by 1.4 per cent between April – June 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. This compares to the dramatic 4.1 per cent fall in in store non-food retail sales reported by the British Retail Consortium. Figures released by the Office of National Statistics indicated a 0.2 per cent contraction in the size of the UK economy over the same period. This was the first quarterly decline in the size of the UK economy in over six years.

Key factors behind the weakness in retail sales between April – June this year are:

  • That the busy pre-Easter sales period fell in March rather than April this year
  • The warm weather which saw the number of people visiting the high street fall by 4.6 per cent on average in May and June
  • Weak consumer confidence

Increasing take up of retail gift aid helped boost charity retail income. Compared to the same period in 2018, the proportion of gift aided goods increased from 29.7 per cent to 32.2 per cent. 72 per cent of respondents to the survey saw positive growth in the sale of gift aided donations. Retail gift aid is an important means of maximising the value of donations. Information and guidance on retail gift aid is in the members’ area of our website.

The number of charity shops has remained steady over the past year with a 0.1 per cent fall in shop numbers. There continues to a growth in the number of specialist charity retail stores. Our members can download the full Quarterly Market Analysis April – June (Q2) 2019 in the members’ area of our website.

Jonathan Mail
Head of Public Affairs
Charity Retail Association