The average charity shop lost more than £30,000 when forced to close by pandemic restrictions earlier this year.
Analysis by the Charity Retail Association (CRA) found that the average shop in the UK lost £33,150 in income between January and March 2021, compared with expected in-store sales.
The analysis is based on data from nearly 4,500 charity shops.
The CRA said this was likely to underestimate total losses, as restrictions continued for most charity shops after the end of March, with most rules only relaxed in June.
These losses were partly off-set by a sharp rise in online sales by charities. Research by the sales platform Shopiago showed that the number of online transactions were up 151% between February and July this year compared with the previous six months.
Bricks, mortar and online
Jonathan Mail, head of public affairs at the CRA, said: “Bricks and mortar shops will always be the lifeblood of the charity retail sector, not only for sales but for collecting donations and finding the treasures that fetch good prices online.
“Now people using our ‘find an online shop’ tool can choose whether to stay home and shop or head out to a store in person.
“Either way, supporting your favourite charities is more important than ever.”
Shopiago's research draws on the charities with which it works, including the British Red Cross, Sue Ryder, Barnardo’s and the British Heart Foundation.