Sense reported record sales at its charity shops in the opening days of this week, after trading resumed for the first time in three months.
Thousands of charity shops in England and Wales reopened on Monday after being shuttered during the latest national lockdown.
Sense said that its one-day sales this week were 85% higher than the previous record which was set in December last year, just before the latest set of restrictions were introduced.
Adrian Darkin, director of trading at Sense, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support from our communities across the country.
“We have had huge numbers of people coming in to donate stock and buy goods, but they’re staying to talk to staff and reflect on what’s been happening over the year.
“It’s only the beginning of course, but to start in this fashion is a huge boost to our staff and volunteers who have had such a challenging 12-months, and have put everything into the reopening.”
Increase in donations
Sense reopened 107 shops on Monday, with strict measures in place to control the spread of Covid-19.
The charity said in a statement that it had received “a huge increase in stock donations, with the public wanting to move on unwanted household goods after months in lockdown”.
The Charity Retail Association said last week that shops were preparing to “bounce back” after lockdown.
The CRA also published guidance to help ease the return of charity shops.
It said: “The UK government no longer advises that donated or returned stock needs to be isolated or cleaned before being displayed on the shop floor.
“This follows new advice to the government from Public Health England based on a review of the growing body of scientific evidence on transmission.
“Regular hand washing and/or use of hand sanitiser remains vital when sorting donations.
“Individual retailers can choose to continue to isolate donated stock for a period if they feel this is appropriate, but this is no longer a requirement or expectation set out in UK government guidance.”