Oxfam reveals 'strong Christmas sales' in its shops

09 Jan 2019 News

Oxfam shop

Matt Jerwood

Oxfam has said it had its best trading week in high street shops in seven years over the Christmas period. 

Between 16 and 22 December online shop sales also rose by 27 per cent in the week before Christmas. 

Total sales over the eight-week Christmas trading period exceeded £18m, which represents an increase of one per cent on the same period in 2017, which raised an extra £167,485. According to Oxfam this is enough to provide safe, clean water for 170,000 people in an emergency.

Some of the best-selling items were a range of ethically sourced gifts and products called Sourced by Oxfam. Sales of these rose by 48 per cent online, and 11 per cent in bricks and mortar stores. The most sought after products were eco-friendly products, including beeswax food wrap and e-coffee cups.

In addition to this range, vintage clothing and designer brands were also the top search items online, whilst cashmere, handbags, silver and first edition books were also popular. The growth in Oxfam sales included a Black Friday promotion whilst on Cyber Monday, a first edition of The Silver Chair by CS Lewis was sold just hours after it was listed online for £2,000.

Andrew Horton, Oxfam trading director said: “Strong Christmas sales demonstrate the public’s continued support for Oxfam’s work helping the world’s poorest people, and the appeal of the items we sell. Our shops are stocked with sustainable fashion and new products with sound ethical credentials. Our customers are increasingly thoughtful about how they spend their money, seeking out items that save the planet and make the world a kinder, fairer places for us all to live in.” 

“Over Christmas we’ve been providing life-saving aid for millions of people in war-torn Yemen, and clean water and sanitation for victims of the tsunami in Indonesia. This work continues and would be impossible without the backing of the British public. I am so grateful for this support and to our dedicated shop managers and generous volunteers who worked so hard over the festive period.” 

The charity’s annual report and accounts for the year to March 2018 showed that income from donations and legacies fell after the Haiti scandal, while it warned that “the full impact remains to be seen”.  

New procurement tool

On the 7 January 2019, Oxfam also launched a procurement tool which will help buying teams source products from fairer businesses. More specifically they are focused on how this tool may improve the livelihoods of workers and reduce inequality in global supply chains. This tool focuses on three key questions about a business: 

  • Do they have a social mission, and is it set out in a constitution? 
  • Who has power in the business? Are workers or suppliers able to have a say in decision making.
  • What happens to profit? Do all those who contribute get a share of a company’s success? 

Oxfam has said it will be using this procurement tool in their new sourcing framework in order to select its suppliers. This new framework will include a category of ‘Hero Suppliers’ and those who are selected will benefit from preferential treatment, such as being first choice for any new product development. 


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