We help charities make the most of opportunities to increase income and profit through trading

We work with your whole staff and volunteer team to get engagement and buy-in for the best results

We show non-retailing charities how to massively increase income and profit through trading via shops and online

We love charity shops! And our experience, passion and integrity shows in everything we do

Some of our services

We offer a whole range of services to our clients – each project is bespoke to you, addressing your particular needs.

The list below show some of the services we offer – and we are always happy to talk to you if what you want isn’t shown. Just get in touch – we’d love to hear from you. 

Charity Retail Learning™ 1
Charity Retail review & Health Check 2
ECommerce 3
STRATEGY & PLANNING 4
Feasibility Studies 5
MENTORING & COACHING 6
Management Information Reports 7
AUDITS 8
SUPPORTING SMALL CHARITIES 9
MUSEUMS, GALLERIES, VISITOR CENTRES & HOSPITALS 10
CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS, WORKSHOPS & FACILITATION 11

Charity retail training – in the bag!

We are so proud to be partnering with the Charity Retail Association to deliver Charity Retail Learning to the sector. 

Charity Retail Learning™ was founded in 2020 as a direct result of the COVID pandemic and the need to communicate more online. It is an arm of The Charity Retail Consultancy and helps support charities with all aspects of their retail and trading operations.

About Charity Retail Learning™

We are proud and passionate charity retailers with an aim to provide high quality, accessible learning opportunities for the sector. Having headed up chains such as Save the Children, Cats Protection, The Children’s Society, St Gemma’s Hospice and Martin House Children’s Hospice ourselves, we understand what makes a successful charity retail operation – and it all starts with the team.

We know that finding relevant, affordable training you can trust can be almost impossible – so we created the CRL to make the process simple, reliable and affordable.

What we offer

A one stop shop of online learning opportunities, specifically designed by and for charity retailers.

Current courses cover subjects including:

  • Health & Safety
  • Volunteering
  • Customer service
  • Stock
  • Charity retail essentials
  • eCommerce
  • Managing retail teams
  • Engagement and marketing
  • Wellbeing
  • Digital skills

All our tutors are either charity retailers themselves, or are experts in their field and have developed their courses with guidance and support from us to ensure they meet our audience’s needs.

We work hard to keep costs low to make the courses as accessible as possible to the whole range of charity retailers – whether you have one shop or hundreds, we can provide the right course for you and your team.

About the Charity Retail Association (CRA)

The CRA is the primary membership association for charity shops in the UK.

The charity retail sector generates more than £330m surplus funds per year from more than a billion pounds of turnover, and harnesses the skills of more than 233,000 volunteers nationwide. Charity retail promotes charitable causes and an environmentally sustainable retail experience.  CRA UK members run around 9000 shops between them.

What the CRA do

  • Lobby on key issues including Gift Aid, waste charging and donated stock supply
  • Provide a sense of community and collaboration both online and through a comprehensive schedule of events
  • Promote best practice through policy guidance, mentoring and other practical resources
  • Increase public support for charity retail through campaigns
  • Carry out and commission research, such as market analysis and specialist reports for bench-marking and informing decision-makers, our members and the public
  • Provide training and learning opportunities

To find out more please visit www.charityretail.org.uk

Charity Retail Learning is a UK Registered Learning Provider :  UKPRN: 10087672

To browse at our full range of courses click here.

Get in touch to discuss your needs or to find out more.

Bespoke Training

We also work with charities of all sizes to provide bespoke, meaningful and affordable training for staff and volunteers at all levels of the retail team.

Our courses are developed in close consultation with the organisation to ensure we cover everything you need and our feedback is always highly rated.

We’ve got many years of direct charity retail experience so can always provide you with the exact learning opportunities you are looking for.

MY TEAM HAVE REALLY ENJOYED AND BENEFITED FROM THE TRAINING. IT’S BEEN SIMPLE TO ACCESS, GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY AND SO GOOD TO BE ABLE TO HAVE A ONE-STOP SHOP FOR ALL MY TEAM’S TRAINING NEEDS.

WANDSWORTH OASIS, IAIN BURNETT, HEAD OF RETAIL

A comprehensive review of your existing charity shop and warehousing operations

We have ten years of experience in conducting charity retail reviews, and all of our clients tell us that we constantly provide an objective and specialist assessment of their operation.  

All our work is bespoke to each client, so we begin with a discussion as to what you want from the review and agree required outcomes. 

We understand that teams can sometimes feel unsure and nervous about a review, so we can provide you with templates to introduce the project and the Consultancy to them. 

On commencement, we immediately provide you with a copy of our annual publication covering current market trends, statistics and the building blocks to a successful charity retail operation.

We will visit all or a sample of your stores, either in person or virtually, meet with Shop Managers and other key team members, as well as build an understanding of the local retail environment within which  the stores operate.

The review includes an in depth analysis of your:

  • retail strategy including current and future plans
  • staffing structure
  • ecommerce operation
  • learning & development opportunities
  • volunteering programme
  • stock generation processes
  • logistics and warehousing 
  • bought in goods, including Christmas cards where appropriate
  • Gift Aid processes and conversion, including compliance
  • selling processes
  • health and safety and security measures
  • data from your till system, including sales, space analysis, average price, footfall and highlighting any areas for concern
  • store segmentation and look and feel 
  • customers and how you can best meet their needs
  • competitors and how to build your market share
  • internal & external communications & marketing
  • governance

We then provide a comprehensive report detailing our observations and recommendations, along with a shop by shop analysis as well as a whole chain overview.  

Where you have a particular area you would like us to focus on, we are happy to do this too – our service is flexible and bespoke.

WE ASKED THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY TO DO A COMPLETE REVIEW OF OUR RETAIL PORTFOLIO – THEY WERE ABLE TO DO THIS VERY PROMPTLY AND THE REPORT WAS READY SOON AFTER THEIR SITE VISITS.  I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE THOROUGHNESS OF THE REPORT WHICH GAVE US CLEAR RECOMMENDATIONS TO TAKE THE BUSINESS FORWARD.  I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANY CHARITY LOOKING FOR EXPERIENCED RETAILERS WHO KNOW WHERE TO LOOK, WHO CAN GET UNDER THE SKIN OF YOUR BUSINESS AND WHO CAN GIVE YOU CLARITY ON WHAT TO DO NEXT.

ST CLARE HOSPICE, SARAH THOMPSON, CEO

Now more than ever, a great online offer should be an essential part of every charity retail operation

Whether you’re starting from scratch, selling from established platforms or developing your own unique site, we can help.

We’ve worked with lots of charities in developing their online offer and can support you with:

  • Providing practical help with getting started online
  • Developing & setting up processes and systems to make sure your online operation really delivers
  • Evaluating existing selling platforms and helping you to choose the right ones for your product
  • Working with you to assess and improve on your existing operation
  • Creating an ecommerce strategy
  • Creating staff and volunteer role profiles and models to make sure you have the right team in place
  • Building engagement with your offline team to ensure a seamless service and effective processes across the whole operation
  • Training for your team in all aspects of ecommerce through The Charity Retail Learning™
  • Building a marketing strategy to drive trade to your online platforms

 JAYNE SUPPORTED US, IN THE EARLY STAGES OF THE PANDEMIC, TO RE-EVALUATE OUR RETAIL BUSINESS TO RESPOND TO THE CHANGING NEEDS OF OUR CUSTOMER BASE. SHE HELPED US TO DEVELOP BOTH REACTIVE AND PROACTIVE PLANNING PROCESSES, WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON HELPING US TO CREATE A NEW ONLINE SALES PLATFORM. THE RESULTS WERE THAT WE HAVE DEVELOPED A WHOLE NEW ASPECT OF OUR OPERATIONS AND THIS HAS LED TO US WINNING THE GARDEN CENTRE OF THE YEAR 2020, FOR CENTRAL ENGLAND, AN AWARD WE HAVE NEVER WON BEFORE IN OUR 36 YEAR HISTORY. WITHOUT JAYNE’S SUPPORT IT IS UNLIKELY THAT WE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REACH THIS LEVEL OF SUCCESS, PARTICULARLY DURING SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME.

MATHEW GILBERT, CEO – WHERE NEXT?

Now more than ever, it’s essential to develop a retail strategy that supports your organisation, its aims, ethos and appetite for risk. Retail is detail, so the planning has to be spot on

The Charity Retail Consultancy team is unique – we are composed entirely of sector experts which means that when we work alongside you, we can create the most appropriate strategies and accompanying sets of targets and measures to ensure you stay on track to deliver on your ambitions.

Whether it’s a three year overarching retail strategy, a 12 month stock generation strategy or anything in between, we have the knowledge and experience to suit your needs and plans.

THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY IDENTIFIED A SERIES OF QUICK WINS AND SOME LONGER TERM STRATEGIES. WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED MANY OF THEIR SUGGESTIONS TO THE BENEFIT OF OUR ORGANISATION. I WOULD HAVE NO HESITATION IN RECOMMENDING THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY

THE BUTTERFLY HOSPICE TRUST, LINDA SANDERSON

The Charity Retail Consultancy works with all kinds of charities that want to diversify their fundraising portfolio and explore the opportunities that a charity retail operation offers

By understanding your goals and concerns, we can provide the operational and strategic information your charity’s senior leaders and trustees need (including current charity retail knowledge, trends, opportunities and investment models) to pursue your ambitions.    

We specialise in ensuring your new retail operation fully reflects your brand and ethos, that it brings your charity to life on the high street and online, and that it generates new unrestricted income and profit to support your overall goals.

THE SUPPORT WE RECEIVED FROM VICKI AND JAYNE WAS EXCELLENT. THEY TOOK TIME TO UNDERSTAND OUR SITUATION AND OUR NEEDS, AND GAVE US BESPOKE AND DETAILED ADVICE. THE REPORT WE RECEIVED WAS EXTREMELY COMPREHENSIVE AND PROVIDED SOME REALLY PRACTICAL TOOLS WHICH WE WERE ABLE TO USE.
 
AGE UK SHEFFIELD, STEVE CHU CEO

Mentoring

Jayne and Vicki are trained and experienced in mentoring staff at all levels of an organisation.

Our mentoring work gives the staff member a space to bounce ideas off, a framework to point them in the right direction, to help them focus on the most important issues, to be their confidential sounding board, to support and motivate them in any stressful and challenging times and to help them to achieve the charity retail business goals and objectives.

We focus on supporting, motivating and inspiring the staff member to work out their own solutions, develop insight and achieve more than they would on their own. We see our role as listening, questioning, challenging, providing feedback, bringing a different perspective, being a sounding board, helping your colleague sort out the many and complex issues of running a charity retail operation and sharing our knowledge and experience with them.

We are non-directive, non-judgemental, positive, open minded, flexible and curious.

The frequency and length of the sessions are agreed in advance.  These are a regular 2 hour phone or video-based consultation at a frequency which suits you, or face to face at a shop or other location where a specific piece of work is to be supported or evaluated. We can also hold video calls into your shops if required. 

 

Coaching

We also offer a first class executive coaching service via our Associate, Dan O’Driscoll.

What is involved?

Executive Coaching is a confidential, one-to-one conversation with a trusted outsider. Conversations are typically focused on knowledge, skills and work performance. It provides a sounding board for senior executives and involves focused 1:1 work to help achieve goals, challenge assumptions, provide resources and build confidence.

Coaching offers a personalised approach to meeting today’s challenges and gives you time and space to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

Through our bespoke Executive Coaching programme, we work with your leadership team to deliver your goals, improve organisational performance and create lasting impact.

Each client has a unique programme designed for them and built around their experience, needs and goals. All services are individually tailored.

About Dan

Dan O’Driscoll specialises in Executive Coaching and Third Sector Consultancy.

He has over 15 years’ experience working in commercial, charity and higher education sectors in a variety of senior leadership roles, working

for organisations such as Oxfam GB where he was Head of Volunteering and Engagement, the University of Birmingham and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

As a qualified Executive Coach through the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM Level 7) and an associate member of the European Mentoring & Coaching Council, he has a deep passion in unlocking people’s potential, improving their performance and create lasting outcomes.

Bringing a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors has enabled Dan to deliver practical and pragmatic approaches to his Executive Coaching service. He is also qualified as a Mental Health First Aider (MHFA) through Mental Health First Aid England and is able to deliver MHFA training and support services as part of his coaching portfolio.

  

THE MENTORING PROGRAM JAYNE CARTWRIGHT DELIVERED WAS A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE. HAVING RECENTLY STEPPED UP IN A SENIOR ROLE JAYNE WAS ABLE TO SUPPORT ME THROUGH THE TRANSITION. JAYNE’S KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE IN THE CHARITY RETAIL SECTOR WAS INVALUABLE AND I HAD COMPLETE TRUST IN HER. THE BIGGEST THING I TOOK AWAY FROM THE MENTORING WAS THE CONFIDENCE THE PROCESS GAVE ME TO ENABLE ME TO DELIVER IN MY ROLE

OCTAVIA FOUNDATION, IAIN BURNETT, HEAD OF RETAIL

We are thrilled to be introducing the services of John Hodgson to The Consultancy

John is a highly experienced retailer who has developed some fantastic new tools to help plan and deliver an effective, efficient and profitable charity retail offer.

John has worked with Barnardo’s, Sue Ryder and Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust (EHAAT) amongst others, so understands our sector well.

We are proud to have exclusive access to John’s work for our clients – so if you think this sounds like something you’re interested in for your team, please do get in touch.

We’ve invited John to tell you all about his work:

John Hodgson – Horizon Productivity Consultancy

Now more than ever, charity retailers need to be using data to drive business decisions.

I set up Horizon Productivity Consultancy after 35 years in commercial retailing.

Specialising in Management Information Reporting, Retail Operations and Productivity Fields, I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the charity retail sector and have been working with both national and local charities to build management information tools that help drive businesses forward.

My reports have been designed to provide valuable information for all levels of management, encourage retail team competitiveness and focus attention on the key performance areas of your business.

I will work with you to ensure the reports meet your charity’s needs and give you the information you need to manage your business as effectively as possible.

Budget Hours Model

Silver and White Analog GaugeThis report provides a workload-based guide to the hours required to complete all store tasks, resulting in the right hours being used, in the right place, at the right time

The hours are calculated using carefully researched charity sector time standards and store specific profiling and base data, with a split provided for both paid and volunteer hours

Ideal for:

  • establishing the most appropriate paid and voluntary hours base for each store
  • budgeting
  • maximising productivity
  • setting new store hours
  • developing a good understanding of the time taken for each task assigned to the stores

Retail KPI Report

Macbook Pro Beside PapersThis report aims to motivate the store teams by sharing key information and constantly pushing to improve the selected KPIs

It is presented in a colour coded league table format over set periods, making it accessible and easy to understand for all retail teams

Ideal for:

  • comparing key performance stats across the chain
  • identifying ‘champion’ teams to establish and share best practice procedures
  • creating focus on areas for improvement
  • tracking improvement over a set period
  • informing, enabling and motivating shop teams

HR KPI Report

Crop anonymous ethnic woman passing clipboard to office worker with laptop during job interviewThis report helps senior managers see at a glance their retail teams’ HR performance, benchmarked against other stores

It is presented in a colour coded league table format over set periods, making it accessible and easy to understand

Ideal for:

  • tracking take-up of mandatory training
  • providing an overview of other completed training
  • monitoring sickness and absence
  • tracking annual leave
  • controlling overtime costs

Store on a Page

Person Holding Blue and Clear Ballpoint PenThis is your go-to report for the retail teams and is designed to capture all store performance data on one page

Suggested data can include:

  • Departmental Weekly & YTD Sales v last year and budget
  • Departmental sales / space comparisons
  • Key Metrics such as Gift Aid, average price, average transaction value
  • Paid and Volunteer hours used per week
  • HR Information including wage costs, staff turnover, absence etc

To find out more about any of the above reports please get in touch:

John Hodgson

Horizon Productivity Consultancy

07514 618 909

hodgson.john23@gmail.com

Having an objective, independent, expert-led analysis of your retail operation has never been more important, which is why we offer a specialist retail audit programme tailored to meet your bespoke requirements

By using our efficient, thorough and cost-effective system, we will create a bespoke audit checklist to ensure that it identifies and consider all potential risks, and reflects your charity’s specific requirements.

Our innovative system allows senior leaders and trustees to easily see the trends and levels of risk associated with each of the audit requirements, and we provide additional in-depth feedback on particular shops and departments.

A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT PROJECTS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY INCLUDING AN AUDIT OF CURRENT RETAIL OPERATIONS WITH RECOMMENDATIONS, DEVELOPMENT OF A STAFF HANDBOOK, SELECTION OF A NEW SUPERSTORE SITE AND ECOMMERCE TRAINING.

WE HAVE FOUND THE SUPPORT THE CRC HAVE GIVEN INVALUABLE IN HELPING US IMPLEMENT NEW PROJECTS THROUGH GETTING TO KNOW OUR BUSINESS OPERATIONS, DEVELOPING GOOD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE TEAM AND BRINGING IN DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CURRENT  RETAIL ENVIRONMENT WITH THE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES THAT BRINGS.

EMMAUS NORTH EAST, JOHN HARRISON, COMMUNITY MANAGER

We work with many small charities, local museums and galleries and understand how hard it can be for them to make ends meet.  We tailor our support to ensure we take their specific challenges into account, providing affordable, practical solutions in an accessible way

Whether already trading or looking to grow existing operations, we can help with practical, hands on support as well as giving a strategic overview and recommendations to bring the best results every time.

During Lockdown, we partnered with the Small Charities Coalition to support their members through challenging times and Jayne has worked with the Lloyds Bank Foundation for many years, supporting small charities with ways to increase their long term sustainability through trading and retail.

WHEN WE DECIDED TO ENTER THE WORLD OF RETAIL THROUGH THE OPENING OF A CHARITY SHOP WE ENGAGED JAYNE CARTWRIGHT FROM THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY. WE ARE SO GLAD THAT WE DID. AS NOVICES WE WERE TAKEN STEP BY STEP THOUGH THE PROCESS OF SETTING UP AND RUNNING OUR SHOPS. WE CAN ONLY THANK THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY FOR GIVEN US THE BENEFIT OF THEIR EXPERIENCE. WE NOW HAVE THREE SUCCESSFUL SHOPS ACROSS BIRMINGHAM AND SOLIHULL THAT WE ARE PROUD TO HAVE OUR NAME OVER THE DOOR. WE HAVE NO HESITATION IN COMMENDING THE WORK OF THE CHARITY RETAIL CONSULTANCY

BIRMINGHAM & SOLIHULL WOMEN’S AID, MAUREEN CONNOLLY CEO

The Consultancy offers support to a range of not-for-profit enterprises that focus on developing income and profit, delivering the best retail service and standards, and that always seeks to enhance the visitor experience

We can provide support with online and on site trading, whether you are completely new to it or looking to improve an existing offer.

We also help with building visitor numbers and interaction, taking into account local, regional and national tourism trends.

Whatever the venue, we provide bespoke solutions that will achieve the best for the organisation, its customers and the people it serves.

WORKING WITH VICKI  WAS A VERY POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. SHE TOOK THE TIME TO UNDERSTAND OUR UNIQUE NEEDS AND AS A CONSEQUENCE I FELT SHE UNDERSTOOD WHERE WE WERE COMING FROM AND WHERE WE WANTED TO BE. WE RECEIVED TAILORED ADVICE TO HELP IMPROVE, AND MONITOR, BOTH OUR RETAIL AND VISITOR ENGAGEMENT OFFER. IT WAS ALSO USEFUL TO KNOW WHAT WE WERE DOING RIGHT AND HOW WE COULD BUILD ON THIS FOR THE FUTURE.

HEBRIDEAN WHALE & DOLPHIN TRUST, PAULINE MASSEY, VISITOR CENTRE MANAGER

WE WERE VERY PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS OF A RETAIL ANALYSIS THAT JAYNE CARTWRIGHT UNDERTOOK FOR BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.  JAYNE’S ATTENTION TO DETAIL, DEEP INVESTIGATION OF OUR CURRENT OPERATION & RESOURCE, AND OF COURSE HER RETAIL EXPERTISE LED TO THE CREATION OF AN EXTREMELY USEFUL REPORT THAT HELPED TO SHAPE OUR RETAIL ACTIVITY TO MAXIMISE OUR CHARITY INCOME. WE WOULD DEFINITELY USE JAYNE AGAIN IN THE FUTURE.
 
BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, MIRANDA WILLIAMS PUBLIC FUNDRAISING MANAGER

Jayne and Vicki are both accomplished speakers, and enjoy presenting on a range of topics related to the charity retail sector

We regularly present to the national Charity Retail Association and Hospice UK Retail conferences on a range of subjects. 

We have spoken at museum and galleries conferences, a placemaking urban forum, and have presented and lectured to university students in sustainable fashion.

We are also skilled in facilitating sessions with internal stakeholders, advising and agreeing on charity retail strategies and campaigns.

WORKING WITH JAYNE TO DEVELOP AND DELIVER OUR “RUNNING A PROFITABLE RETAIL DEPARTMENT” HAS BEEN A REAL PLEASURE. THIS IS SOMEONE WHO REALLY KNOWS HER BUSINESS AND WHO IS ABLE TO CLEARLY SHARE THIS INSIGHT WITH A WIDE RANGE OF CHARITABLE AND RETAIL ORGANISATIONS.

OUR CONFERENCE WAS AIMED AT STAFF WORKING AND MANAGING MUSEUM SHOPS AND JAYNE GAVE THEM ALL SOME VERY PRACTICAL ADVICE FOR IMPROVEMENTS, SOME THOUGHT PROVOKING IDEAS TO ENSURE ON-GOING DEVELOPMENT AND A GREAT DEAL OF CONFIDENCE TO TAKE BACK TO THEIR OWN ORGANISATIONS. IT COMES AS NO SURPRISE THAT IN THE FEEDBACK SHE SCORED THE HIGHEST OF ALL THE ELEMENTS

THE IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUM TRUST, TRACI DIX-WILLIAMS DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS