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British Red Cross in £12m shop overhaul

British Red Cross in £12m shop overhaul
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British Red Cross in £12m shop overhaul

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 17 Jul 2008

The British Red Cross has announced a £12m plan to reinvigorate and expand its network of shops around the country.

The organisation has committed to build 20 new shops a year over the next five years – increasing the number of shops by a total of 100 by 2012. Some 70 poor-performing shops will be shut down and 140 existing shops will be refurbished.

At present, charity shops provide 11 per cent of all fundraising for the British Red Cross – turning over £23m per annum with a profit of £4m.

“The overarching aim of our investment plan is to double current British Red Cross profit from charity shops to £8m in 2012,” said British Red Cross head of trading Sue Azzopardi.

Web-connected tills

New electronic tills, connected via the internet, will be introduced to all shops as part of the effort to modernise the outlets and bring them closer in nature to traditional retail shops.

The overhaul has been applauded by the Association of Charity Shops. “Innovations like this are always to be welcomed,” said David Moir, head of public and policy affairs at the Association. “The sector needs to continually develop and respond to changes in consumer demand.”

“Everywhere on the high street, consumers are demanding quality, value for money and a clean, attractive and pleasant environment to shop in. Charity shops are, of course, responding to that,” he said.

Staff pay linked to shop income

To accompany the changes to the shop infrastructure, the Red Cross has recently announced changes to the salary structure of its 600 shop employees – tying them directly to the income generated by the individual shop.

The organisation will also be looking to expand its volunteer base from the current level of 6,000 to include more volunteer shop and delivery workers.

Gongs all round

The Red Cross also picked up two awards at the Association of Charity Shops' annual awards ceremony this week.

Josh Hill won the Young Volunteer award for his work on a series of university roadshows to promote volunteering, and his idea for a 'big red sack' to encourage students to donate items to Red Cross shops.

And the staff at the Ellon Red Cross shop in Aberdeenshire won Shop Team of the Year for more than doubling the number of volunteers in a year and increasing sales by 27 per cent to £78,000.

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