Charity Suffers From Cash-strapped Consumers

Tough times for Oxfam as purses tighten and clothing donations cease

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Oxfam has rejected claims that charity shops boom in a recession as it has been hit by cash-strapped consumers unwilling to donate their clothes according to Retail Week.

Opening three high-end fashion boutiques including the one on Chiswick High Road certainly helped profits, but the charity claims it is suffering from consumers becoming more frugal and hanging onto their clothes rather than donating them to charity.

Oxfam head of trading David McCullough told Retail Week, "It's one of the myths that in a recession it's boom time for charity shops. In fact, discretionary spending on items such as Christmas cards, gifts and add-on items is very tight, just like the rest of the high street."

The charity said it is finding it hard to find enough quality stock as consumers tighten their purse strings and stop donating clothes.

McCullough said, "If people are not buying new things then it doesn't create the moment when they clear out their wardrobe. Our supply chain dries up. The focus on stock acquisition has made the biggest difference in helping us do the numbers this year."

December 24, 2008