We took on our first shop at the tip in Newport on a three month break even basis or we would pull out. As a charity we were not willing to run a shop that made a loss. The first shop broke even within three months.
Retail today is a seven day a week business so we had to adapt to that - we are open when the recycling centres are open.
Our first shop opened 4 years ago - we now have seven and several more in the pipeline.
We believe every recycling centre in the UK should have a shop that is open when the tip is open and is run by a mixture of paid staff and volunteers.
If you rely on a grant to do your work you are at the mercy of the grant provider. The project may work but when funding runs out they will want a "new" project even if the old one worked well.
Focus on the needs of your audience / customers and look at it from their point of view - not yours.
The shops are open when the tips are open.
The shops record every sale and know the weight of every item because we have a tight stock control system and local authorities need that.
Average 25 - 30,000 items per month diverted from skips into reuse. Well over 100 tonnes of items saved.
30 new paid jobs created (no grants) in areas of high unemployment.
100 plus volunteers with path to employment (30% of paid staff were volunteer with us).
Partnership with the local authority - they provide the infrastructure for the shops and we run them.