Cancer Research UK plans chain of 'superstore' charity shops

17 Jul 2017 News

Cancer Research UK has said it is planning to open more 'superstore' charity shops after the first ones showed substantially greater profits than regular-sized stores.

The charity said its 12 superstores typically provide four times greater profit than an average sized shop, and are more able to offer a wider range of products.

They are also more able to offer additional services such as private information rooms and direct phone lines to the charity’s nurses.

CRUK’s largest store, in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, opened in March and the charity said its furniture offering has been “flying off the floor”.

The charity said it has employed a “small team” to oversee a move to larger shops, including a superstores manager, Fred Wing.

Wing said: “Our superstores support our overall aim to normalise charity retail shopping and provide great products at low prices in busy locations convenient for customers. 

“Having additional space means we are able to offer our supporters additional services. Many of the stores are fitted with a private information room and nurses hotline, enabling customers to have direct access to accurate cancer information from our team of dedicated nurses at Cancer Research UK.

“They also provide a community atmosphere and offer a rewarding volunteering experience for anyone with two hours or more a week to spare to help beat cancer sooner.”

Unlike smaller shops, the superstores run a discount model, meaning the majority of items are £5 or less, with high value products identified with a golden ticket.

Wing said: “We're able to do this because the superstores can hold, sell and process high volumes of items.  The space also allows us to improve our furniture offering and it's been flying off the floor in our Stevenage store.

“Typically a superstore can provide four times greater profit than an average shop, which means more money to directly fund our life saving research.”

The charity plans to open more superstores in future including one in Irvine, Scotland, later this year.

Speaking at Civil Society Media’s Charity Property Conference earlier this month, Charity Retail Association chief executive Robin Osterley described the Stevenage superstore as “absolutely mind boggling”.


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