The article praises the work that charities and their volunteers do, but also addresses the perception that they influence feelings of the decline of towns as they proliferate in High Streets:
“Most members of the public associate charity shops with high street decline, and 50% think a “healthy” high street should contain fewer charity shops.
These stark findings come from a report by thinktank Demos, updating its 2013 report on charity shops, both commissioned by the Charity Retail Association. Four years on, Demos says charity shops continue to be a lifeline for struggling town centres.
“Charity shops continue to perform a vital function in filling otherwise vacant properties in ailing high streets, with two-thirds of managers saying that their shop fills a space that would otherwise be left empty,” says the report.
But it notes that public opinion about the presence of charity shops on the high street is mixed, with the sector still facing an image problem in being associated with the decline of local high streets. Those surveyed overwhelmingly support charity shops receiving business rate relief, but more than half associate charity shops with high street decline. …”