Thursday, 18 September 2008

Credit crunch boosts charity shops

WELL-dressed bargain hunters are driving hundreds of miles to snap up the Cheshire set's cast-offs.

Charity shops
in Wilmslow have had record sales as fashionable shoppers buy second-hand clothes by top designers including Gucci, Versace and Chloe. Customers from as far afield as Cornwall and Yorkshire are descending on stores where the seriously rich recycle their unwanted designer labels.

Wilmslow is home to some of the region's wealthiest businessmen and footballers' wives. Shoppers looking to beat the credit crunch can expect to buy a £1,000 Gucci handbag for £300.

The Cancer Research UK store last week had record takings and Oxfam had 'exceptional' sales.
The Help the Aged branch outperformed any other of their outlets in their region. And The British Heart Foundation say they had a 'much better week than last year'.

"People are journeying from all over just to come to the shop," said Sandra Daniels, manager of Cancer Research UK on Water Lane.

"We get a lot from Liverpool, one man comes from Yorkshire and a couple come from Cornwall."


At Oxfam staff reported an 'exceptionally good' Saturday at the end of a good week, which staff put down to the economic climate.

"People tend to come in from out of town - we had someone the other day from Oldham," said one of the shop's volunteers. "I imagine the credit crunch is the cause."

Help the Aged field manager Margaret Gwyther said: "Wilmslow did the best of all the stores in our area and that includes Hale which always does very well." Liz Marsden, assistant manager at Scope, on Church Street, said: "There have been quite a few more customers out and about in the village."

The Wilmslow Business Group thinks any new trade is good news for the town.

Chairman Dave Bolton said: "We are really excited by anything that brings people into Wilmslow. The charity shops in the town have a high standard of clobber and if you are looking to save a few pennies it is a good place to go."

And a spokesman for Macclesfield council said: "It's not unheard of for charity shops to become known as the Harrods of the North and there are sometimes unexpected spin-offs from the `credit crunch'.

"It's encouraging that charity shops in Wilmslow are doing well, helping themselves with attractive window displays, and we'd hope that people continue to support them."

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