British High Street

Quarterly Market Analysis Report January-March 2019: charity retailers welcome 2019 with booming sales

In the latest Quarterly Market Analysis Report published by the Charity Retail Association, the period surveyed (January to March 2019) saw impressive growth in the sector.

The report shows that Like-for-like income excluding Gift Aid tax reclaims increased by 5.9 per cent (6.3 per cent including Gift Aid tax reclaims) and customer sales were up by 6.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis from January-March (Q1) 2018.

Sales growth was generally driven by the uplift of donated goods sales, up by 6.2 per cent from January-March 2018. As the unexpectedly mild winter in February encouraged footfall, some members launched their Spring lines ahead of time which boosted their clothing sales. The good weather in March also brought a strong surge in sales for several members, who highlighted this month’s overall exceptional performance.

Income from sales of donated stock to recycling merchants declined by 7.6 per cent from January-March 2018, when this category saw an exceptionally strong growth of 17.2 per cent from the preceding year. The median average price of rag, at 42 pence per kilo for members who participated in our QMA Q1 2019 survey, remains unchanged since October-December 2018 but has decreased five pence compared with the first quarter of 2018.

Charity Retail Association Chief Executive, Robin Osterley, said: “The first quarter of this year has produced outstanding growth in the sector. Even taking into account the effect on sales due to the ‘Beast from the East’ in the same period 12 months ago, charity shops continue to buck the high street trend that has seen well known commercial chains struggle.

“We hope this good news continues throughout the year for our members.”

Our members can download the full report and RAG price survey in the members’ section of this website.