Cost of living crisis drives charity shop boom

As belts tighten more shoppers are looking to charity shops than ever before
July 29, 2022

Around two thirds of UK adults say that they are more like­ly to reg­u­lar­ly buy goods from char­i­ty shops, com­pared to a year ago — at a time when 57% of house­holds are cut­ting back on treats and non-essentials.

Beyond books and music, 37% of respon­dents said they now reg­u­lar­ly buy clothes from their local char­i­ty shops, with 17% buy­ing sec­ond hand fur­ni­ture and 13% hunt­ing for kitchen items. Chil­dren’s toys also proved popular.

The research find­ings are from a new com­pre­hen­sive report by ele­phant com­mu­ni­ca­tions, which explores how the cost of liv­ing cri­sis has impact­ed British fam­i­lies — assess­ing who has been most affect­ed and how. The new study spans con­sumer out­look and plans for home buy­ing, cars, hol­i­days, food, leisure and char­i­ta­ble support.

As peo­ple cut-back on their spend­ing, and many try to avoid tak­ing on fur­ther debt, the appeal of char­i­ty shops was com­mon across all income groups, sug­gest­ing peo­ple from all walks of live are mak­ing cut­backs since the cost of liv­ing cri­sis start­ed. Char­i­ty shops also proved espe­cial­ly pop­u­lar in the Cap­i­tal, with Lon­don­ers being those most like­ly to buy clothes, books, shoes and kitchen items from local char­i­ty shops.

The research also sug­gests char­i­ty shops are also set to be sig­nif­i­cant net gain­ers from peo­ple’s sup­port for char­i­ties in the months despite. Despite chal­lenges to the house­hold bud­get, 73% of adults are still keen to find some time and mon­ey to sup­port char­i­ties, and donat­ing to local char­i­ty shops topped the list (30%). More broad­ly, the research sug­gests peo­ple are look­ing clos­er to home and want­i­ng to sup­port caus­es that res­onate with the cur­rent eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion. Caus­es peo­ple most want­ed to sup­port includ­ed home­less char­i­ties, food banks and men­tal health organ­i­sa­tions — will few­er peo­ple inclined to sup­port more glob­al issues or causes.

Do con­tact us for more infor­ma­tion on the full insight report which will be avail­able in August 2022. Fur­ther updates on Twit­ter @elecomms