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Charity Shops Reopen

Published on 23 June 2020 02:22 PM

Welcome back - now's the time to shop for great quality bargains and contribute towards a vital Lincolnshire charity, which has been providing a lifeline for older people during lockdown.

Two of Age UK Lindsey's charity shops in Market Rasen and Spilsby have now reopened and if their ‘new normal’ of safe retailing is successful, more shops will follow. To entice shoppers back, there’s 30 per cent off any total purchases of more than £10. 

Risk assessments have been carried out, the shops have been deep-cleaned, till screens have been erected with card-only payments, hand sanitiser stations are in place, and floor markings and a traffic light entry system have ensured the first two shops can open – giving confidence to the staff and customers. The changing rooms are also closed with refunds allowed on production of the receipt and payment card. 

Needing time to catch up with donations, and having a minimum of staff, these two outlets are initially opening between 10am and 12.30pm and 1pm until 3.30pmCurrently three shoppers are allowed in the Market Rasen store at any one time, with four permitted entry in Spilsby.  

Shop managers are also asking donors to be patient – the charity is quarantining all donations, and even the bags they are in, for 72 hours before touching them. There are storage areas clearly marked in the stores for donations to be left and people are asked not to leave bags outside.  For donations of larger items, or if shoppers have any enquiries, they can call the charity’s head office on 01507 524242. 

Shops Area Manager for Age UK Lindsey Sarah Roberts said: “We are so looking forward to welcoming back our customers. The staff have been working hard to replenish the shops with some fabulous new items – all out of season stock has been removed, rails, shelving and display areas have been refreshed and we are now moving full steam ahead into what we hope will be a long hot summer.  

We have a lot of pre-loved items all desperate for new homes and as an incentive we have 30 per cent off any transactions collectively totalling over £10. There are many bargains to be had,” added Sarah. 

For the two shop managers, Diane Cresswell in Market Rasen and Jane Eglin in Spilsby the reopening marks a return to work from furlough and they are both delighted. In Spilsby there were people forming an orderly queue outside the store, on High Street, shortly before the 10am opening on the first day. Meanwhile Diane reported a busy day of trading over in Market Rasen, with a single sale of a sofa and chairs earning the charity £180 towards its vital services. 

“We have been busy getting things ready – when we closed in March, we still had jeans and jumpers in the windows,” said Jane. 

“It’s good to be back and yes we’ve got some great bargains, all fantastic quality,” added Diane.