The history of our shops

Our first two charity shops were opened within 18 months of each other way back in 2012 and 2014.  They are located in Keighley and in Halifax.

We opened our third shop, the one in Brighouse, in 2018 and our Skipton one in 2019.

Why did we decide to refurbish the shops?

Yorkshire Cat Rescue charity shop Brighouse

The COVID lockdowns had meant that we hadn't really moved the shops forwards for around two years, and they had become a bit staid.

The two original shops had been open for many years and were looking a bit tired.  Our Brighouse shop wasn't too bad but we felt we could use the space better and our Skipton shop, despite getting rave reviews, wasn't really hitting our targets.  We felt that the two original shops would benefit from a total rearrange, the Brighouse shop needed the layout changing and our Skipton shop needed a new angle to attract our customers.

What did we do?

In our Keighley and Halifax shops we simply replaced old fittings with newer modern pieces. We changed the layout and we used the shelving and wall spaces to better effect.  In Halifax we moved the till to a better location.  Keighley and Halifax are our Value shops.

In Brighouse we rearranged our fittings so that we could fit in more rails and so that the space is better for customers to browse.  We changed the window use to try and accommodate a large fixed pillar and we changed the location of some of the items we sell to manage the flow through better.  Brighouse is an Aspiration shop.

Skipton shop saw the biggest change.  We knew this was a popular shop but it wasn't making the money we felt it should, so we changed the shop round completely and added a vintage section, which has become very popular.  Skipton is an Inspiration shop.

What results did we see?

Yorkshire Cat Rescue charity shop SkiptonThere were some costs of course, namely the purchase of new fittings, and we decided it would probably take us about three months in increased sales to meet the costs of the fittings.  We were thrilled that the income from the shops rose much quicker than we'd expected, and in fact the higher sales meant we paid off the costs of the fittings in around a month.

Anything else?

Well yes, actually.  We have!

We've invested in a new EPOS till system.  This will allow us to collect more Gift Aid, it will let us know what stock has been in which shop so we can send unsold stock on to the next best shop;

We've created a central sorting space so that all (or most) of our donated items can go there and then be directed to the most appropriate shop;

We're planning screens in each shop so that our customers can get live updates of our cats, fundraising events, special offers - anything really;

We're looking at having a bigger online selling presence.  This is a work in progress, so please watch this space ...