You give away unnecessary things, the store sells them to other customers, earns money for charity – that’s the idea of a charity shop in a nutshell. Such facilities have existed in Poland for a long time, but now for the first time such a store has been opened in a shopping center, which may strengthen the idea.
Clothes, shoes, books, albums, CDs of music and movies, jewelry, decorations, small household appliances, sports equipment and even furniture All of this can be found in the Sue Rider Charity Store. The facility opened on August 19 in the Westfield Arkadia Shopping Center in Warsaw. This is the seventh Sue Ryder store in Poland, but the first is located in a shopping center. The rest are located on the streets – five in Warsaw and one in Szczecin.
– Our institution lives on the work. It was clear to us that in order to further develop the concept of stores and provide the enterprise with stable financing, we needed to open an outlet in a shopping center, but we did not expect this to happen so quickly. to me Westfield Arcadia He asked us to cooperate with us, which happened last summer – says Business Insider Polska Agnieszka Brzóska, Director of the Sue Rider Foundation.
The foundation was able to lease the premises on preferential terms, but the financial details remain confidential. – Arcadia understands what the peculiarity of our concept is and on what terms we can open a store. We are united by a true partnership – adds Brzóska.
Charity shops an English invention, They are in every local municipality today. The Charity Retail Association – the largest membership organization for charities – estimates there are around 11,200 of them in the UK. The first of its kind was a store established by the Wolverhampton Society of the Blind, an organization that supports the blind, with the goal of selling merchandise intended for the organization’s legal purposes. The facility was established at the end of the nineteenth century.
The Sue Rider Foundation was established in 1953 in England. She opened her first charity store in London in the 1950s There are over 450 Sue Ryder charity stores in the UK alone. These are charming department stores in small towns, and big department stores on the main streets of the city, as well as specialty stores, such as bike, furniture or antique stores. The foundation’s first store was opened in Warsaw in 1992 and was located in Centrum stores.
What can be donated to a charity store?
Items found in Sue Ryder stores come from donors. It’s a place where you can bring anything that someone else can still use. Clean clothes (although not necessarily ironed), shoes, prints (books, CDs, movies), jewelry, small household appliances, sports equipment, accessories, toys, and furniture are welcome. There are two conditions: Each item must be complete and in good condition.
We have a lot of effort to introduce our concept to people and teach them how it works. Shopping is one thing and another is collecting merchandise and there is a huge scope for education here. People donate different things and some unfortunately treat us as a place to collect garbage, which is very difficult and time consuming because we have to get rid of these items — says Marcin Melczarski, director of marketing and fundraising at the Sue Rider Foundation.
Items sorted by employees are placed on shelves. The prices are not excessive, because the enterprise’s assumption is that the goods should also be available to the less affluent. The entire profit from sales is diverted to help those in need, just as Sue Rider planned 70 years ago. The Polish branch of the Foundation focuses on projects implemented only in Poland – Supports the disabled, the sick and the excluded – from children to the elderly. It finances, among other things, the activities of Sue Rider Houses – care and treatment facilities and shelters founded by the founder of the foundation in Poland.
Why did Westfield Arkadia shopping center decide to collaborate with the foundation and open a charity store? – We are happy to get involved in various projects to support those in need. Philanthropy and environmental protection are two very important pillars of the Better Places 2030 strategy that we implement and implement. What the Sue Ryder Foundation has been doing for years fits right in with that plan. That’s why we’re thrilled to open the first such store in Poland in a shopping center here – says Sławomir Kuliński, a spokesperson for Westfield Arkadia.
Shopping malls are looking for new business ideas
For a shopping center, the opening of a charity store is an example of the implementation of CSR activities. together This store becomes another distinguishing feature of the shopping center, And this is important, because today these facilities are struggling to bring back customers who, during the pandemic, began to choose their online shopping willingly. The Sue Ryder Foundation hopes that thanks to the opening of an outlet in Arkadia, other shopping centers will also be interested in the appearance of such a store in their facilities.
In recent years, charity stores have been set up quite often. Mine store opened in Praga district of Warsaw Salomon Foundation, which deals with helping the terminally ill, in difficult life situations and hospice homes.
– We have always been lovers of vintage items in spirit. We often visited antique stores and markets in search of different things. Over the years, we have amassed a large collection of different pieces of furniture, knick knacks, glass and ceramics. We’ve been carrying around for several years now with the opening of an “Antiquities” store to save these things from destruction and oblivion. The idea of the Foundation and the Charity Store is a mixture of passion, willingness to help and participation – we read on the Foundation’s website.
Charity shops also operate online. The Go’n’act Foundation launched in 2002 an online second-hand store featuring clothing, shoes, accessories and jewelry. Funds obtained from their activities are allocated to legal activities – peace education, children’s rights activities and social inclusion projects.
Similar to Arkadia, Wola Park Shopping Center in Warsaw wants to go, although the store planned for this mall, called Wspóldzielnik, will have a slightly different feel – It will be possible to bring some goods there and take others. This is a project implemented by the director of Wola Park in collaboration with the Wolski Cultural Centre.
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