top five

1. Tenovus (Whitchurch Road) – http://www.tenovus.org.uk

Best points:

  • Customer Service
  • Layout
  • Range of stock
  • Tidy

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.

2. Bobath (Crwys Road) – http://www.bobathwales.org.uk

Best Points:

  • Continual change in stock
  • Varied range of sizing
  • Cheap in price
  • Good size fitting room

3. Save the Children (Albany Road) – http://www.savethechildren.org.uk

Best Points:

  • Best choice in hardware
  • Despite high prices in the some shops Save the Children remain fair
  • Best shopping environment
  • Quick and easy service

4. Barnardos (Albany Road) – http://www.barnardos.org.uk

Best Points:

  • Good for costumes/fancy dress
  • Students get 10% discount
  • Best lighting and shop fittings
  • No extra charge for designer items

5. British Heart Foundation (Albany Road) – http://www.bhf.org.uk

Best Points:

  • Best for new stock (tags on etc)
  • Best opening times
  • Good percentage of mens clothes against womens
  • Best window display

There’s no better time than the present to start uncovering vintage bargains and rare gems in the heart of the capital…

thread thrift


This weeks find, is some what of a bitter sweet…

This beautiful navy beaded dress would have been perfect for our New Year party…but we only found it today!!! so we’ll have to wait to wear it…

Can you believe its only £5.00 and not even any beads are missing!!!! Following on from our previous post concerning the raise in prices in charity shops, we can safely say it isn’t all true…




Comment below or let us know via our Twitter and Facebook page what you think?!

See you soon…

thread thrift


Screen grab from theguardian.com


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)

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

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…

charity shops logo


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.

sorry closed

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

to let

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’.


Listen to Gail Griffiths’ views here:

-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’…


Listen to what Matthew Evans has to say here: 

-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…’

Read more here: http://dailym.ai/1d0IBvNMouse Options and for further information why not read this report again by The Daily Mail: http://dailym.ai/1d0IEb1

Let us know your views…after all it is YOUR high street?! tweet

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