Can charity shop make a realistic profit?

More concerns about Children’s Hospice South West’s new venture in Honiton.

Following the page 3 article “Charity shop refit criticised”, may I pose a few questions?

In addition to a refit most local shopkeepers would be proud to be able to contemplate, let alone afford, a double fronted prime-site shop must involve a rental in excess of �25k p.a., plus rates. Public indemnity and third party insurance is a positive amount, as will be heating and lighting costs for such a voluminous property. An advert was in the shop window for a manager in excess of �17k p.a., plus part time staff pro rata. Other incidental costs have to be met in running any business.

In total, a potential annual expenditure well in excess of �50k, representing �1000+ per week of charitable donations from the caring residents of Honiton, not going directly to the work of the charity of their choice.

The vexed question of reduced business rates for charity shops should rear its ugly head if they propose selling any new products in direct competition to local entrepreneurs.

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How can this shop, one of about a dozen charity ventures in the High Street, make a realistic profit from trading in donated goods, when so many of the privately run businesses, and other charity shops, have closed in the recent past, following hugely increased costs and diminished returns?

G Godfrey

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