From the BBC
Charity shops boost local business, combat unemployment and even help tackle social isolation, according to a report by the think tank Demos.
The report says despite negative perceptions there is "no evidence" the shops cause "High Street decline".
Councils should "do more to support charity shops", the report adds.
The rising number of charity shops has led to calls to limit their numbers, but the report says the benefits they bring are "often unrecognised".
I've had a read of the Demos report, which, being Demos is full of terms like "social value" that should clue you in to the sort of people writing it. It includes quotes from charity shops and landlords about the benefits of charity shops, including the benefits to other shops, but they couldn't seem to find a non-charity shop owner who thought they were a good idea. It's real aim is to defend the dodging of business rates, despite the fact that charities already get tax and VAT relief.
Going back to Mark Wadworth's post about shopping centres and how the owners control the mix of shops, it's worth nothing that places like The Oracle, Cribbs Causeway and Central Milton Keynes don't have charity shops. They don't think that having an Oxfam shop in their centre is going to bring people in, or more accurately, that the people they bring in aren't going to be the people that the other shops in their centre want.
But that is a certain sort of shop, generally more middle- to upmarket ones.
The footfall that a charity shop is going to increase is the footfall of people on lower incomes. It's going to help shops like Poundland or CEX. And for that, I'm somewhat tickled because the sort of people who are most vocal about saving the High Street aren't just against boarded up High Streets, they want a gentrified High St full of small tasteful independent shops, and not the likes of Poundland or CEX.
Monday, 25 November 2013
From the BBC