Charity shop growth at the lowest level for years

Charity shop growth at the lowest level for years

Charity shop growth at the lowest level for years

Finance | 2 Oct 2014

The charity shops sector is still growing, but more slowly than before, according to the Charity Shops Survey 2014, published today by Charity Finance and Fundraising magazines.

The report shows the number of shops was up 1.7 per cent, while profit was up 3.2 per cent and income was up 7.8 per cent.

Profit growth is the lowest since 2006, while growth in shops numbers is the lowest since 2008.

The report is based on responses from 73 charities who between them run 6,505 shops – the majority of the charity sector. Total income for these charities was £807.2m, and total profit was £189.6m.

The number of staff working in shops rose by 6.1 per cent, while the number of volunteers rose 2.9 per cent.

The four largest charities in the sector remain unchanged, with the British Heart Foundation in first place, with a turnover of £170.9m. Sue Ryder replaced Age UK in fifth place.

The Salvation Army increased its turnover by 67.7 per cent to £44.4m. However this increase is mostly down to its takeover of Kettering Textiles, a recycling firm which it used to partner with, and which passed a proportion of its profits to charity.

The charity agreed in 2012 to acquire the company for £11m after coming under fire over directors’ salaries. As a result its income from rag rose from £13.9m to £31.2m.

Charities’ concerns for the future centred around the price of rag, or recycled clothing, which has fallen by 30 per cent since January. Most of the drop is not reflected in this year’s figures, but even so, excluding the Salvation Army, income from rag was down by 4 per cent.

David Ainsworth, deputy editor of Charity Finance and author of the report, said: "This survey shows that after strong growth all the way through the recession, the charity shops sector is beginning to find things tougher.

"Charities are reporting concerns about acquiring good quality stock, and say they expect more competition for space on the high street.

"The drop in the rag price suggests that next year we might see profit growth slow even more.

"On the plus side, we see significant growth in online trading and charities diversifying their offer with more specialist shops."


[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear


  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

FRSB finds that both the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home breached code in work with FIL

28 Jul 2016

The Fundraising Standards Board has found that the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home breached a number...

Deadline for completion of proposed PFRA and IoF merger delayed

27 Jul 2016

The Public Fundraising Association has delayed the deadline for the completion of its proposed merger...

Last of the Fundraising Initiatives Group agencies files for liquidation

27 Jul 2016

Premier Contact, the last of the Fundraising Initiatives Group agencies that was still operating, has...

Charitable funds used to buy night vision equipment for convicted terrorist

28 Jul 2016

The Charity Commission has removed a convicted terrorist as a trustee and transferred money he raised...

Terrence Higgins Trust loses tribunal case against former chief executive

28 Jul 2016

Sexual health charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust has lost a tribunal against its former chief executive,...

RNIB announces acting chief executive appointment to replace Lesley-Anne Alexander

27 Jul 2016

The Royal National Institute of Blind People has appointed Sally Harvey as acting chief executive officer...

Blockchain technology could ‘revolutionise’ charity regulation, says report

21 Jul 2016

Blockchain technology could eventually be used to carry out many of the functions of a traditional regulator,...

Macmillan, Cancer Research UK and Brooke use Pokemon Go to encourage fundraising

14 Jul 2016

Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and Brooke are among the charities to encourage fundraising...

Stop looking for a 'big bang' moment for digital transformation

4 Jul 2016

Charities should stop looking for a “big bang” moment in digital transformation and instead focus...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button