Now that Wellington’s Sue Ryder Charity Shop has introduced a loyalty card scheme – customers are to get £5 off once they’ve collected 10 stamps – are other charity shops on the High Street thinking of following suit? The answers seem to be “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe”!
Janet Govier, Manager of the Oxfam shop in South Street said, “I think it’s a good idea but it would need to be approved by Oxfam rather than this shop itself. I might pass it onto our regional manager as something worth considering.”
At another shop a spokesperson, who asked not to be identified, ruled out the idea of the scheme and said, “ We rely totally on donations and those who give them want to feel they are doing something specific for charity. If someone was getting an item for little or nothing, donors might feel that their gifts to us were being reduced in value.
“We have, in fact, tried similar schemes before and found that they’re sometimes abused. Someone using their stamps gets something ‘free’ and then returns it and wants cash. It can become quite awkward. And there’s also the cost-effectiveness to take into account. So no, we wouldn’t consider it.”
Kate Richards, Assistant Manager of the Children’s Hospice South West shop said, “Most of our customers are regulars anyway so it may not be an incentive for them but we might think about it for the brand new items that come here directly from the warehouse.”
At the RSPCA’s shop, Manager Sue Seward said, “Yes. Good idea! Anything that encourages business would be worth considering. I have a bit a free rein here so, if the scheme didn’t involve a significant cost, I could do it. Our loyal customers might be tempted. We have already seen an increase in profit now that we’re asking customers to use debit rather that credit cards.”