Charity superstores make nearly triple the amount of profit of a standard charity shop

01 Oct 2019 News

Charity superstores on average make almost three times more profit than a traditional charity shop, according to results of the Charity Shops Survey 2019.

Data from 120 superstores is included in this year’s Charity Shops Survey, published today by Civil Society Media's Charity Finance in association with Fundraising Magazine.

Charity “superstores” tend to be much larger than an average charity shop and are often based out of town rather than on the high street.

Average profit from a superstore was £1,604 per week compared to £554 for a regular store.

Income at superstores was more than double that of traditional shops, at £5,281 per store per week.

Profits rise for second consecutive year

Profits have risen from charity shops for the second consecutive year, with retail income increasing by 5.1 per cent on average, for respondents to both 2018 and 2019 surveys.

Online sales have continued to rise, with online income through third-party websites increasing by 18.4 per cent and income from charities’ own websites growing by 3.6 per cent.

In-store sales of bought-in goods, everything except primary purpose stock and Christmas cards, rose by 20 per cent.

Selling donated goods in store has also increased, by 4 per cent, with income from sales of Gift Aided donated items growing by 7.7 per cent and a 6.7 per cent increase in Gift Aid reclaimed. 

Fewer charity stores

At the same time as increased profits and more selective types of stores, there has been a net reduction in the number of charity stores for the second year running, with 14 fewer at the end of 2018-19 than at the start.

None of the charities that responded to the survey, including almost all the major retailers, made double-figure net openings. 

This is a stark contrast to previous years, with Cats Protection opening 18 shops in 2017-18 and Barnardo’s opening 31 in 2016-17 and 89 in 2015-16.

More specialist and out-of-town stores

Charities are becoming more selective about types of store with an increase in the proportion of specialist and out-of-town shops.

41 per cent of shops in this year’s survey are in locations other than the high street, up from 35 per cent last year.

The proportion of specialist stores has increased from 13 to 15 per cent.

Fewer charity shop volunteers

Average volunteer numbers per shop are down from 21.9 to 21.4 and average hours per volunteer have fallen from 6.1 to 5.7.

This year’s survey also gave a lower figure for average volunteering hours per shop, at 121.1 hours, down from 134.8 hours in 2018 and 124.4 hours in 2017.

Anecdotal evidence from shop managers said shortage of volunteers was by far their greatest concern.

Charity Finance and Fundraising Magazine subscribers will receive a copy of the Charity Shops Survey with the October issues. Otherwise the survey can be ordered here.


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