Save the Children’s charity shops have grown their profit by almost one third in 2019, up from £2.1m in 2018 to this year’s £2.7m.
The charity said the growth was the result of both strong sales and lower spending. Costs went down from £8.6m in 2018 to £8.2m in 2019.
A spokesperson from Save the Children said that “this mainly came from the closure of a few unprofitable shops, thereby reducing rent and overheads”.
Save the Children said it currently has 125 shops around the UK, two fewer than the 127 mentioned in its 2018 annual report.
New goods and boutique shops
Save the Children’s charity shops performance was also driven by the increased profit of its boutique charity shops.
The charity launched Mary’s Living and Giving shops in 2009 in collaboration with retail expert Mary Portas. It now has 25 of these boutique shops, most of which are in London.
In 2019 they raised £3.8m overall and made a £1.4m profit (up from £1.1m the previous year). Save the Children said this was their best performance since launch.
Sales of new goods also saw a significant growth, up by more than 30 per cent on last year’s.
Ian Matthews, trading director at Save the Children, said: “Save the Children’s retail performance in 2019 was significantly more impressive as it came against a backdrop of changes in the direction of our retail strategy.
“It had been a challenging few years for charity shops, and we’ve had to change our focus in response to difficult trading conditions. Our new-look shops are designed to offer a boutique shopping experience to encourage people to look at second-hand goods in a new light. Recent performance shows what a great opportunity we have to help consumers make ethical shopping choices without compromising on style.
“We recognise that consumers are increasingly seeking more sustainable shopping opportunities and we’re delighted to see shoppers looking to our stores to provide these environmentally friendly options.”
The British Retail Consortium has called 2019 “the worst year on record” for retail, with UK retail sales decreasing on last year’s for the first time since data collection started (-0.1 per cent).