Hospice shop empire goes ten to the dozen

Gazette: Hospice shop empire goes ten to the dozen Hospice shop empire goes ten to the dozen

ST Helena Hospice is set to open two more shops, bringing the total to 12.

It will open branches in Culver Street East, Colchester, and High Street, Dedham – the village’s first charity shop.

It means the Colchester hospice will have doubled its number of stores in just two years.

The Essex Federation of Small Businesses has warned the explosion of charity shops can disadvantage other retailers.

Iain Wicks, development manager, said: “St Helena Hospice is a wonderful charity.

“Supporting a local charity is something very worthy.

“But in terms of competing in the High Street, we have always taken the view charity shops should be selling donated products only.

“There are a number of charity shops moving into the area of selling new products when they have the advantage of 80 per cent business rate discounts.

“They only have one or two paid staff. It puts other retailers at an unfair disadvantage.”

Mr Wicks said a high number of charity shops was never a good sign for a town centre.

He said: “It is one of the signs a high street isn’t being as successful as it could be.”

The hospice’s new store in Dedham will sell high-end items, including designer clothes where the person donating the item will get a cut.

It will replace the Vogue and Vintage shop.

An opening date has not yet been confirmed. The new shop in Culver Street East, Colchester, was previously home to Italian fashion store Brand Village, which opened last autumn.

Opening at the end of the month, it will sell second hand items, as well as having a wedding and occasions section, and a children’s area. The new shops will both employ two members of staff as well as volunteers.

Indira Allen, the hospice’s head of retail operations, said the shops were not in direct competition with businesses.

She said: “We pay charitable concessions rates, but because of this we are limited to what we can sell.”

“A recent report by think tank Demos found there is no evidence charity shops have an adverse economic impact on the High Street.

“The Culver Street East shop was empty and by opening a shop we hope to contribute to the footfall of the vicinity, which will support other businesses.”

Comments (5)

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4:40pm Wed 14 May 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

100% support for St Helena's, they do a wonderful job. However, I tend to agree that if they are also selling new goods and not just donated items then they should pay the same business rates as other retailers of the same size.
100% support for St Helena's, they do a wonderful job. However, I tend to agree that if they are also selling new goods and not just donated items then they should pay the same business rates as other retailers of the same size. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 2

6:21pm Wed 14 May 14

Ontheball says...

I wonder just how much of the money people give to the hospice goes to pay for rates, etc for all these shops. The one in Culver St East is only yeards away from the one in the footway from Queen St to Long Wyre St.

Are all these places really necessary??
I wonder just how much of the money people give to the hospice goes to pay for rates, etc for all these shops. The one in Culver St East is only yeards away from the one in the footway from Queen St to Long Wyre St. Are all these places really necessary?? Ontheball
  • Score: -2

11:00pm Wed 14 May 14

Ritchie_Hicks says...

Ontheball wrote:
I wonder just how much of the money people give to the hospice goes to pay for rates, etc for all these shops. The one in Culver St East is only yeards away from the one in the footway from Queen St to Long Wyre St.

Are all these places really necessary??
I don't know about Colchester, but in the majority of cases a charity can apply for relief of up to 80% (varies throughout the UK). There is also VAT relief.

Most staff will be volunteers (no need for NI and PAYE).

All in all, I think most would agree that any charity taking advantage of these spaces to raise money to support their cause has got to be worth while.
[quote][p][bold]Ontheball[/bold] wrote: I wonder just how much of the money people give to the hospice goes to pay for rates, etc for all these shops. The one in Culver St East is only yeards away from the one in the footway from Queen St to Long Wyre St. Are all these places really necessary??[/p][/quote]I don't know about Colchester, but in the majority of cases a charity can apply for relief of up to 80% (varies throughout the UK). There is also VAT relief. Most staff will be volunteers (no need for NI and PAYE). All in all, I think most would agree that any charity taking advantage of these spaces to raise money to support their cause has got to be worth while. Ritchie_Hicks
  • Score: 2

7:47am Thu 15 May 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

Ten shops was not enough then, plus a big main unit centre in Stanway?
I think the word excess comes to mind.
What about all the other charities and their shops.
Why No Help For Heroes/Royal British Legion Shop in Colchester? Surely we are the largest single Garrison town in the UK now.
AVPG:
Ten shops was not enough then, plus a big main unit centre in Stanway? I think the word excess comes to mind. What about all the other charities and their shops. Why No Help For Heroes/Royal British Legion Shop in Colchester? Surely we are the largest single Garrison town in the UK now. AVPG: A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: -6

12:47am Tue 10 Jun 14

swanie says...

Personally I am a huge supporter of St Helena Hospice who provide invaluable care and support to families in desperate need of care and advice. I for one am delighted to see a charitable organisation taking the bull by the horns and building a bespoke model by which they can sell donated goods to the public and supporters. It's not just about selling, it's also about having a presence and making people aware of what they do. Great work by the charity! Keep it up!
Personally I am a huge supporter of St Helena Hospice who provide invaluable care and support to families in desperate need of care and advice. I for one am delighted to see a charitable organisation taking the bull by the horns and building a bespoke model by which they can sell donated goods to the public and supporters. It's not just about selling, it's also about having a presence and making people aware of what they do. Great work by the charity! Keep it up! swanie
  • Score: 0

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