Mind braces for £1.5m loss after charity shop closures

01 Dec 2020 News

Mind could lose £1.5m as a result of shop closures in the run up to Christmas, the charity has warned.

This is the potential value of trading income during the festive period, which will be lost because shops have been shut due to Covid-19 restrictions in England and Wales.

The mental health charity said that it lost £400,000 last month, when it was not trading but continued to make payments towards rent and to top up furlough payments for shop staff.

Mind has 166 charity shops in England and Wales.

Losing Christmas profits

The charity said that its pre-Christmas sales in November and December would normally generate 20% of its total profits for the year.

Mind’s shops made a total of £17.9m for the charity at the end of 2019, according to data collected for Charity Finance magazine earlier this year.

This income was 3.4% higher than a year before, although rising costs meant that profits were down 17%.

The data shows that Mind relies on its shops for around a third of its total income.

Online auction

Mind has called on shoppers to return to their stores safely when the latest lockdown lifts from tomorrow, and to support the charity by buying from its online store.

To mark Giving Tuesday, celebrity TV presenter Fearne Cotton has donated goods for Mind to auction online, including a jumpsuit and some pink satin shoes. The auction opens today and concludes on 10 December.

Mind: 'A difficult financial situation' 

Andrew Vale, the managing director of Mind Retail, said: “Despite the job retention scheme, and the tireless efforts of Mind retail staff and volunteers, we’re unfortunately in a difficult financial situation.

“This means we might not be able to support everyone who needs us this winter. We’re doing everything we can, now we need you to do everything you can, by shopping in Mind stores or online, in the final run up to Christmas.

“That being said, please be patient with our staff and follow the safety guidelines we have in place. They are both here to make sure you have the safest and smoothest shopping experience possible.”

Long-term retail losses

The Charity Retail Association estimates that shop closures have cost the voluntary sector more than £375m in lost revenue since March.

During the first national lockdown in the spring, Oxfam GB said that it was losing £5m a month from shop closures. The Children’s Society said it lost £1m every month. 

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