Cancer charity consults shops staff on retail exit plans

15 May 2023 News

Young Lives vs Cancer is consulting staff on a proposal to close all its shops, the charity has announced.

The cancer charity has 13 shops and made a net loss of £1.4m from its retail operations in the year to March 2022, according to its most recently filed accounts.

Its accounts also show the charity had 24 full-time equivalent (FTE) members of staff at the shops in 2021-22, down from 33 the year before, whom the charity will now consult on its closure plans.

A statement from the charity reads: “Following a review of Young Lives vs Cancer’s retail shops, we are proposing that we close the charity’s chain of 13 shops. 

“We have begun a four-week consultation with staff and are engaging with our affected volunteers, and will communicate the final decision following the consultation period.”

The charity has employed fewer retail staff each year since 2018-19, when it has 59 FTE shop workers on its books.

The charity added: “We recently carried out a review of Young Lives vs Cancer chain of charity shops, and their ability to generate, as effectively as our other income generation channels, the money we need to fundraise to support and develop our services for children and young people with cancer.

“Our annual investment into running our chain of charity shops is significant, and costs are rising, the review illustrated that this investment could raise significantly more to support our work over the years ahead, if spent on other income generating activities. As a result we have commenced a four week consultation with our staff and engagement with our volunteers.

“We know this is a very difficult time for staff and volunteers in our shops, many have been with us for many years and have made a huge difference to the young people and families we support. Nothing has been decided yet, and won’t be until after the end of this consultation. The basis of the decision will be what enables us as a charity to do the most for children and young people with cancer.”


Young Lives vs Cancer’s shops brought in £1.4m in 2021-22, however their expenditure was double this at £2.8m.

The charity also made a loss from its retail operations the year before when Covid restrictions limited its income to £738,000 but its costs remained at £2.2m.

It had broken even in 2019 -20 when its retail costs and expenditure were both £2.7m. 

The charity’s 2021-22 accounts also state a dilapidations liability assessment was conducted on the full property portfolio that year. 

“A £1.3m provision has been included in the financial statements for the costs that the charity estimates will be incurred upon vacating properties in the near future, based on the condition of the properties at the year end,” its report reads.

“The inclusion of a £1.0m provision for shop dilapidations is a major contributor to the £1.4m net loss on retail trading, along with the allocation of £0.3m central support overheads to trading.”

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