Stat of the Month: Second-hand sales boom

£1bn: Charity shop takings in 2011.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Many shops on the high street are struggling, but one branch of retail seems to be benefiting from cash-strapped consumers - in sales, at least. Charity shops raked in nearly £1bn last year, an increase of £34m on 2010, putting customer spending at an all-time high.

The Charity Retail Association, which monitors the industry, says the tough economic climate is persuading shoppers to turn to pre-owned goods.

But this development comes with a caution: rising demand is creating problems with the supply of stock. Mothers with young children have become dependent on charity shops for affordable clothes and toys, the association says, but the shelves are looking increasingly empty. Nearly a third of mothers are selling outgrown items rather than donating them, and auction websites are thriving.

With job lots of baby clothes regularly selling for 99p on eBay, can charity shops compete?

Source: Charity Retail Association, JRA Research

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