Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Online shoppers give items new lease of life as charity shop sales grow

CHARITY shop sales continued to grow at the end of 2023, boosted by strong online sales as charities worked to attract customers despite bad weather, according to the Charity Retail Association’s 2023 Q4 Quarterly Market Analysis report. Respondents reported seeing a 19.4% increase in online income compared to the same period in 2022 as customers shopped for the festive season.

75% of charities who took part in the survey said they sold online, while in-store income also remained positive, growing 1.9% year-on-year, driven by an average transaction value increase of 5.6%.

Holiday periods such as Easter and Christmas are traditionally times of increased footfall for charity shops, with many shops getting creative with seasonal marketing campaigns and shop displays to attract customers and boost sales. Christmas 2023 was no exception, with shops reporting seeing an increase in customers making an effort to buy sustainable and affordable gifts.

Charity shop performance over this period once again outpaced commercial retail, with respondents reporting a total income growth of 3.1% between October-December 2022 and October- December 2023, compared to a decline of 1.5% for non-food commercial retail sales in the same period, according to the BRC.

Continued growth has seen charities making positive plans for the future, with almost half (47%) of respondents indicating that they intended to increase their number of shops over the coming six months.

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

“Charities really saw the benefit from their investment in growing their online channels at the end of last year, with shops being able to boost their sales, especially in times of low footfall, by providing customers with an accessible alternative to shopping in person. Although the vast majority of charity shop income still comes from in-store sales, it has been important for charities to build their online presence in recent years, and this is something we’re seeing going from strength to strength.

“Shops continue to face challenges such as the cost-of-living crisis, volunteer shortages and the quality of donations, but have proven their resilience and popularity again and again, reflected in their ongoing growth and expansion.”

Donated goods made up 73.6% of all in-store income in October-December 2023, with 63.4% of all income from donated goods in general charity shops coming from clothing and accessories.

Find out more about charity shops in the UK at:


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