EXTRA INFO: Tenovus on Whitchurch Road overall rated the best of all the above. The customer service is brilliant. We thrifted a sterling silver hand made ring for £10.00 and earrings for £1 during the christmas period and the lady behind the till gift wrapped them for free.
Yesterday The Guardian online posted an article concerning the prices of items in charity shops across the country. The top line of the article started with this quote…
June Houghton, 83, from Rhyl in north Wales, pointed to a necklace in the window of an Oxfam shop in the Buckinghamshire town of Beaconsfield. “That’s £150!” she said in disbelief. “I don’t care if it’s real gold, you don’t sell that in a charity shop for £150! This may be a very affluent area, but there are pensioners and young people here too. I’m against charity shops now. I don’t shop in them any more.” Her husband, Roy Turner, 86, agreed. “The prices here are double to three times those of any charity shop in north Wales.”
The argument stands that charity shops are starting to look ‘greedy’, they know the designer from the Primark and they rank the price up. Charity shops are claiming due to the economic downturn they are also suffering and need to put their prices up with Oxfam stating their profits plunging, as their income fell by £17.6m.
But despite this prices in charity shops in more affluent areas like Stow on the Wold and London Chelsea can be surprisingly high. Charity shops pride themselves on getting the best price they can for the item that has been donated. Many charity shops are not even putting the designer items on the shop floor, instead they are keeping them to put on sites like ebay.co.uk to get a higher price.
The Guardian summed up the reasons for the excessive prices…
“One explanation for the rise in prices is that there is an increase in the number of dealers making excessive profits out of charity shops. One manager of a charity shop said: “We are trying to do what is best for everyone. We don’t get it right every time, but we get it far more right than wrong. It has to be fair for the customer, for the donor and for the charity.”
Thrift Shop Cardiff would love to know your views on whether the prices in charity shops in Wales are too high??
We’ve already been out on the search for other views…
Naomi Jarvis – Vintage clothing owner (Loved once more)
“My clothing is all about everything that has been worn, torn and reborn. I search for vintage finds in charity shops and then I customise them with studs, tie dye or totally transform the style. However, I have noticed more and more charity shop prices rising and obviously for people like me who are trying to make a living its difficult to pay more for items and then pay for the materials to customise them and then sell them on for a fair price.”
Lorenzo Chiuchiolo – local charity shop buyer
“I buy from charity shops all the time, not just for clothes but for household goods too. I have noticed the prices being put up but I do have to say that Wales is the cheapest. I’ve been to Bristol and London and the prices are much, much higher.”
What’s your views? Are charity shop prices too high? Vote in the poll below…
It maybe hard to believe that charity shops are doing nothing but good all round. However many people are criticising them recently, even going as far as saying they could be the death of our high streets.
From pound shops to pawnshops along with mass empty premises, these all suggest our cities high streets are struggling to attract shoppers to say the least.
But one sector in particular is currently thriving – charity shops.
A well-known destination for charity shop devotees would be Newport, many come from miles around to hunt down those bargains there. For the post this week Newport will be used as a case study in order to express the issues that are arising around charity shops, not just in Newport but in many other towns and cities as well.
The high street in Newport has been left with many empty premises due to the recession and this has resulted in charity shops taking over. The cities high street in Newport along with others is now mostly charity based businesses in terms of retail, along with perhaps a stray New Look or Primark.
Small local shops just can’t afford to stay open…
There is discussion however, that the closure of larger retail shops from Topshop to H&M in Newport is due to the high rent of older buildings along the cities high street. Many of these chain stores have been offered newer buildings in local outside retail parks, where they can have new premises for low prices. Newport Retail Park in particular offered many shops for example H&M and Gap no rent for the first couple of months, to entice them to the shopping facility and to alternatively attract more shoppers to the park.
This has left the high street bare and has enabled charity shops to take over the empty premises with many now opening up next door to each other. The reason why charity shops can sustain their place on the high street while others can’t is because of the business rate relief. Charitable businesses are currently receiving business rate relief of eighty per cent enabling them to survive in a habitat in which many prominent retail names have been unsuccessful.
Wales Online have recently published this article creating a bigger picture into this issue: http://bit.ly/1aFnWul
Empty properties are left abandoned on the high street
A recent review of business rates in Wales by the Business Minister Edwina Hart, has recommended in particular that the Welsh Government consult on whether the business rate relief for charity shops should be reduced to fifty per cent. It has also been discussed as to whether there should be a limit to the number of charity shops with rate relief in each town and city, along with limits on the maximum size of a property who are receiving the relief.
ANSWER MADE SIMPLE: Non Domestic Rates (NDR) are also known as business rates and are taxes to help pay for local services. These are charges on most non domestic properties.
To understand the issues related to the proposed cut in the rate relief BBC Wales created this report:
Thrift shop Cardiff spoke to Gail Griffiths the head of fundraising at Bobath charity, who currently is running three charity retail stores in Wales. Gail stated she thought the reduction in the business rate relief is unfair along with the statement determining charity shops as being ‘the death of the high street’.
-Picture courtesy of Twitter.com (permission by Gail Griffiths)
Inside Bobath Charity shop
Newport city has also established plans for a hundred million pound shopping development financed by property developers Queensberry. The high street was said to be in need of a makeover and after speaking with Newport’s conservative leader, Matthew Evans he made it clear the good that the development will do for Newport. The investment is a surge to make Newport’s high street overall more modernized, including chain stores and restaurants along with a cinema and bowling facilities.
This chart of figures shows the current amount of empty units in Newport…
The scheme Matthew said will have the ability to transform Newport and that it could once again become a destination to go to. The investment has also been welcomed and many residents think it will attract more footfall to the city centre once again.
Matthew Evans told Thrift Shop Cardiff, how much potential Newport has as a city and why the investment was needed as the city is currently ‘drudging along the bottom’…
-Picture courtesy of Twitter.com via newport.gov.uk
This asks the question as to whether this could be cycle in years to come? The rates/rent go up for businesses so they continue to move and charity shops then move into the empty premises. The situation could then just be running in continuous circles. It leaves the debate as to whether in the throw away culture we are in today are charity shops a staple part of the high street, and are they needed as a good ethical way to recycled unwanted items. That also could lead to the saying of is there too much of a good thing in one place?
And its not just in and around Wales that the issue with charity shops is being discovered…The Daily Mail have also listened to the tune of ‘the death of the high street’ with the headline… ‘Kent Town with just 15,000 people has TWELVE charity shops filling the space where businesses have gone bust…’
Christmas is upon us and its safe to say this year it has come quicker than ever. The lights are up, the trees are being prepped and whats more the shops are full of glitz and glam ready for the all those parties coming up.
Thrift Shop Cardiff as usual have been on the scout for the thrifty clothes which are bang on trend.
Embellishment is key this holiday season and the British Heart Foundation had just what I was looking for. This hand beaded top is truly beautiful and what’s more it was £5.99!!!!!!!
The cut out neckline along with the contrast in bead work is what makes us actually be able to say its STUNNING!
As promised when we set up TSC (Thrift Shop Cardiff) a couple of weeks ago we wanted to prove how you can actually dress smart from a charity shop! It isn’t all about the ‘Urban Outfitters’ dressed down “VINTAGE” look…for £45.00 plus!
So this week we set about my search for the perfect outfit for an interview/meeting/date or whatever it might be that you need to look a little fancy for…and heres our findings for under £10.00!!!
Our first find was a simple classic black clutch complete with a silver clasp, it is very understated and would not look out of place on the shelve at Zara. (Interaid – Cathays – £1.00)
We then went on to find a staple crop sleeved black blazer, which could be dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a dress. (Bodus – Cathays – £5.00)
Lastly, we found ‘THE GEM OF THE WEEK’ a heavy lace jacket/dress which was only £4.00 but it just looks so so so expensive due to the intricate detailing in the lace. (George Thomas Hospice – £4.00)
Sling on tights, a plain black t-shirt dress and some shoe boots and your done.
On top of my regular ‘finds’ posts I also want to keep you updated on local charity shop news.
As you may or may not have noticed charity shops are popping up all over the shop on our high streets and thats mainly due to the cut business relief rates for charity shops particularly in Wales.
Tenovus charity retailer last month announced they were going to abandon plans to open fourteen shops due to the Welsh government considering to cut the rate relief for charities. This also called warnings for other charity shops which may have to close if the rent on their shops increases.
The Welsh government decided to consider this issue due to high street retailers being driven away due to the amount of charity shops on local high streets e.g. Newport city = retailers like Topshop and H&M have left the high street and have started up in near by retail parks.
Initially Ministers outlined proposals suggesting to cut the relief from 80% to 50% for most charity shops and also to limit the amount of shops in a particular area.
However this was dismissed late last month, but is now being considered again and many charity shops are aware if this law is past their shops could be closed down.
‘The money we would lose… would pay for two of our cancer support advisors”
Tenovus chief executive
‘The Charity Retail Association’ warned that if the proposals went ahead, charities would lose nearly two million next year, with a overall 15% cut in income.
Charities argue the changes could drive them off our high streets.
Many charities have argued that if they are driven off the high streets , they will not be replaced by small retailers but by even more loans companies, pawn shops and more empty shops.
We am in talks with Tenovus head offices to arrange an interview with their chief executive to arrange an interview which we will record and post up very soon.
Ahhhhhhhh!!! Excuse my excitement but I’ve been trawling Charity Shops across the whole of South Wales to find a piece which will exceed expectations for my first post.
Due to it being my mothers birthday I had to be the best daughter I can be and visit my home town in Usk near Newport (bet your thinking WHERE?!) yeah well it is pretty small. A clock tower and a river are its claim to fame but for me it’s the St David’s Hospice charity shop. This is only charity shop in Usk and I have to say it never fails to amaze me.
I know a lot of people preconceptions of charity shops are they are just for old clothes that can be branded as VINTAGE! But, I want to get away from that and show my community here at Thrift Shop that you can find something for any occasion not just big ‘urban outfitter style’ granny cardys.
Early this morning I found myself drawn in and there is was sitting on the rail, sparkling at me from afar, this beautiful beaded shirt dress. The dress its immaculate with no beads missing and it’s a good size!!! Not to big or too small PERFECT! Saturday was drawing closer and I was looking for something new to wear and now I’ve found it…let me know what you think?!?!
PURCHASED: ST DAVIDS HOSPICE, USK
Please please pleaseeee open up your wardrobes to the world that is charity and I can assure you, you will find something which tops this beauty.
If you do please let me know and we can arrange a guest post!!! Next week it will be back to Cardiff and all about Cathays!!!