Shop raises grand sum in first hour

Volunteers Emily Austin and Liz Graham in the store
Volunteers Emily Austin and Liz Graham in the store
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A FLAGSHIP charity shop has taken £1100 in its first hour of opening after a major revamp.

The Shelter Scotland Shop in Raeburn Place, Stockbridge, is already known for its hectic Christmas and New Year sales, which attract hordes of bargain hunters as designer labels such as Prada, Dior and Lanvin go up for grabs. It is the charity’s most successful shop in the UK.

When it reopened yesterday morning after closing for several weeks of refurbishment, customers formed a long queue outside, boosting takings way beyond the usual levels of around £850 per day as they snapped up clothes, books and bric-a-brac.

The transformation will be followed by revamps for the charity’s other seven shops in the Capital, each adopting the new livery when it is next ready for renovation.

Director of Shelter Scotland Graeme Brown, said: “We’ve completely revamped both the outside and the inside of the shop. There’s quite a number of charity shops down in the Stockbridge area and we thought it was important to market the Shelter shop, which has always been a very successful shop for us, not just in Scotland but across the UK.”

As well as new lighting and shelving inside, the outside of the shop has a new look to make it clear that money raised will go to help people in Scotland.

Mr Brown said: “Outside we’ve got the Shelter Scotland logo with our strapline, ‘Until everyone has a home’.

“We think it’s important to get our message across to say what Shelter Scotland is, who we’re here to help, and to draw people into the shop and help them do their shopping in a fairly cost effective way.

“People can be assured the money they’re spending will go to help homeless people in Scotland.”

Recent figures from the Association of Charity Retailers showed a four per cent increase in the number of people visiting charity shops in the last three months.

Mr Brown said: “It’s humbling to know that despite the struggle faced by many households, they are still showing enormous generosity by donating to our shops.

“Due to the effects of rising prices and stagnant salaries, consumers have become increasingly savvy about where they spend their hard-earned cash.

“Our hope is that our new-look shops will be well received by our existing dedicated customers and attract new ones. We’re bringing charity shops back into fashion and making them a real alternative in the face of rising prices.”

The Raeburn Place shop raises thousands with its January sale – this year bringing in £14,000 in just one week to help in the charity’s work.