Charity shops 'restrict trade'
PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 June 2016
Concerns have been raised about the number of charity shops in Budleigh Salterton after it was announced that a new good-cause business will open later this month.
Children’s Hospice South West confirmed it will be moving into the High Street premises vacated by Barclays Bank last year.
This would mean it joins Oxfam, Hospiscare, Little Valley Animal Shelter and Devon Air Ambulance in having businesses in Budleigh’s town centre.
Mare and Foal, which also had a premises in Fore Street, closed recently.
When Children’s Hospice South West opens, the town centre will have five charity shops in the space of 140 metres.
Budleigh in Business chairman Helen Warren believes there are already too many in the town.
She said: “Two recent surveys for the neighbourhood plan have highlighted concerns over the number of charity shops in the town.
“Budleigh used to be a destination town of small independent shops, offering specialist products and individual service.
“Whilst we still have a good range of shops, sadly, the rise in the number of charity shops occupying key High Street positions has restricted the number of premises available for other small businesses. This is a situation that can be evidenced in many small towns and not unique to Budleigh.”
A spokesman for Children’s Hospice South West said: “We’re really excited as the shop will feature our fresh, new shop design and we know our shops in market towns are really successful for the charity.
“We’re hoping that the local community will really support the new shop and we will soon be looking for volunteers to help with stock processing, window displays and general assistance.”
President of the Chamber of Commerce Alan Tilbury said: “It’s an inundation of charity shops in the town, but who else is going to take those shops over? There are currently too many charity shops for the 5,000 people who live here.”
However, town mayor Chris Kitson has welcomed an empty shop in the town centre being filled.
He said: “We (the town council) welcome a vacant shop being traded in and a charity shop does potentially bring people into the town and Children’s Hospice South West is a well-supported charity.
“However, there is a feeling that too many charity shops will stifle the opportunity for more entrepreneurial businesses in the town.”