15 Sep


New Poole shop the future of charity retail

15 Sep, 2017

A new charity shop, which ditches the fusty image traditionally associated with charity shops in favour of a fresh approach, will open on Friday (15 September) at 116a High Street, Poole, by Southampton-based Sailors’ Society.

The store will have a quirky boutique feel, using industrial décor including container-like dressing rooms and crates to reflect its work with merchant seafarers.

Visitors to the shop on Friday will be able to enjoy a free cup of the charity’s own-brand BySea coffee to celebrate the opening.

The charity shop is being launched by Sailors’ Society’s new commercial team including south coast retail manager Paul Long-Collins, who has 35 years’ experience with household name brands including B&Q, John Lewis and Wyevale Garden Centres.

Paul said: “Charities are realising that we need to move away from the car boot or jumble sale feel, towards giving customers a more upmarket and enjoyable experience.

“The high street is becoming more competitive with so many charities in the retail market, so we’ve been driven by a new vision to make charity retail more exciting.

“When our Eastleigh shop opened earlier this year, it attracted a lot of attention – people were queuing around the block to see what was on show.”

The Poole shop is the third of four new shops the charity plans to roll out this year, with a final shop due to open in Southampton. It already has long serving shops in Farnborough and Aberdeen as well as new shops in Eastleigh and Salisbury.

Sailors’ Society also opened its first BySea Coffee Lounge in March. Based in Southampton, the shop serves BySea coffee, the charity’s ethically sourced, socially responsible brand, with all profits going towards its work supporting seafarers around the world.

Sailors’ Society’s director of development, Adam Stacey, said: “These shops are a way for us to diversify our income so that, even in these challenging financial times, we can continue the vital work we do supporting hundreds of thousands of seafarers in need around the world.

“More than 90 per cent of everything we own comes by sea, sometimes at great cost to seafarers, who often come from the world’s poorest communities, spending up to a year at sea at a time and facing incredible loneliness, storms and even pirate attacks.”

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