Charity shops survey

The charity shops survey has been issued for the 27th time and is compiled and written by Charity Finance with support from the Charity Retail Association.

The headlines results are as follows:

▪ Overall profitability is up for the first time in three years by 2.7%. Average weekly profit per shop was £516, up from £471 the previous year.

▪ Retail income increased by 3.8% and expenditure by 3.9%.

▪ Shop volunteering hours have also seen an increase. The average number of volunteer hours per shop is at its highest ever, at 134.8.

▪ For the first time in over a decade there was a decrease in the number of charity shops. This could be because the sector has reached maximum capacity, or perhaps because some shops are being opened in out of town environments and are therefore much larger or more specialist, e.g. furniture.

▪ Charity shop managers expect to see an increase in shop numbers next year, with 61% predicting new shops opening.

▪ Average results per shop, for a non-hospice shop were:

▪ Annual rent £18,723.

▪ Staff costs represent 39% of turnover

▪ 17.8 volunteers per shop and 5.1 hours per volunteer.

▪ Average weekly sales of £1,833.

▪ Average weekly profit of £361.

▪ National charities paid an average rent per annum of £23,623 whereas the average for smaller charities was £16,686. The size of specialist shops has increased to an average of 1,759 square foot and it has been noted that out of town outlets see a better rate of return than smaller high street stores.

▪ The price of rag has increased by over 9%, which has boosted profits. The average rag price increased from 42p to 45p per kilo, however this is still significantly lower than in 2014 when it was 60p per kilo.

▪ Charity shops have also seen an increase in income from online sales through third party sites, such as eBay or by using online auction sites for niche or unusual furniture.

▪ Stability seems to have been reached following the recent introduction of pension auto enrolment, the national living wage and the apprenticeship levy.


However current concerns include:

▪ The possibility of dwindling volunteer numbers if another recession occurs due to Brexit.

▪ Poor quality donated stock.

▪ Competition from other charity shops.

▪ Health and safety of customers and staff.


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