Recent studies show that charity shops add value to the high street by plugging gaps in empty units. The study also shows how they help deal with social issues.
The report says that UK consumers spend an estimated £1.3 Billion a year in them. Furthermore, charity shops also provide volunteering experience for over 200,000 people.
More interesting is the perception of charity shops by their communities. Older people tend to associate charity shops with a decline in the high street. While as a rule, younger people under the age of 24 do not.
Beverley has its fair share of charity shops on the high street. But what benefits do they bring to the town centre aside from an additional retail choice for visitors?
Essentially charity shops are recycling unwanted goods. By doing so they are tackling issues like climate change and pollution locally.
Shops operated by charities can offer people a chance to gain work experience. More importantly, provide people who can not find a job in mainstream society a chance to work.
The study found that people who volunteered to work in a charity shop enjoyed the experience. Aside from the charitable work, they felt it offered a good sense of social wellbeing.
In an age where age when retail giants are struggling and closing stores, charity shops are helping boost local economies. Feelings are some people are attracted to them given the diversity of products,
In 2017 74pc of adults donated to charity shops with 61 per cent making a purchase. More interestingly women are 3 times more likely than men to donate and use a charity shop.
Charity Shops Helping highlight hidden locations
One shop worker said;
“I think things have changed dramatically in the last couple of years. They’re starting to become more trendy to shop in and more of a contender on the high street.”
“We’ve very much gone away from the junk shop title that charity shops used to have. I think for that reason we’re getting a different customer base. They now treat the shop as a proper shop rather than coming in for a quick bargain.”
Through events and marketing, Beverley Community Lift is attracting people to what otherwise would have been an empty unit.
Some believe the shops should diversify and be used as a gateway to charity. Bringing advice and other benefits to the heart of communities.
The question people need to ask themselves is this. Do we need more shops run by charities or are empty units more inviting to visitors?