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Market Research Group

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Back in 1978 when Ben and Jerry first dished out ice cream in their downtown Burlington, VT scoop shop, it was a place where friends hung out and good vibes flowed over euphoric flavors chock full of chunks & swirls. Today, our locally owned and operated scoop shops are still gathering places in communities around the world where you can enjoy your favorite flavors, still chock full of chunks & swirls!


Whether you like to be on the Potomac or prefer the sparkling views from land, The Wharf offers ample things to do and ways to enjoy the water. Dine in one of our fabulous restaurants. Browse our shops. Or join us during one of our festivals. Take a look at our upcoming events to plan your next visit.

For example, the tag organic=* can only be applied to shops that can possibly sell organic goods, and not to something like a computer shop (shop=computer). On the other hand, some tags like opening_hours=* can be relevant to any shop and are, therefore, part of the collection of tags in this table.

Below is a list of common shops. It's impossible to cover all types of shops. If you discover new shop types, you may invent your own values. When in doubt, you can also tag a shop as shop=yes to mark it as shop, without specifying what is sold. In the latter case, it's also good to add a description=* tag to the object describing what is sold.

A charity shop (British English), thrift shop or thrift store (American English and Canadian English) or opportunity shop or op-shop (Australian English and New Zealand English) is a retail establishment run by a charitable organization to raise money. Charity shops are a type of social enterprise. They sell mainly used goods such as clothing, books, music albums, shoes, DVDs, toys, and furniture donated by members of the public, and are often staffed by volunteers. Because the items for sale were obtained for free, and business costs are low, the items can be sold at competitive prices. After costs are paid, all remaining income from the sales is used in accord with the organization's stated charitable purpose. Costs include purchase and/or depreciation of fixtures (clothing racks, bookshelves, counters, etc.), operating costs (maintenance, municipal service fees, electricity, heat, telephone, limited advertising) and the building lease or mortgage.

Charity shops may also be referred to as thrift stores (in the United States and Canada), hospice shops, resale shops (a term that in the United States also covers consignment shops), opportunity (or op) shops (in Australia and New Zealand), and second-hands (секонд-хенды) in Russia.

One of the earliest known charity shops in the United Kingdom was set up by the Wolverhampton Society for the Blind (now called the Beacon Centre for the Blind) in 1899 to sell goods made by blind people to raise money for the Society.[1] During World War I, various fund-raising activities occurred, such as a charity bazaar in Shepherd Market, London, which made 50,000 for the Red Cross.[2]

However, it was during the Second World War that the charity shop became widespread. Edinburgh University Settlement opened their "Thrift Shop for Everyone" in Edinburgh in 1937,[3] the Red Cross opened up its first charity shop at 17 Old Bond Street, London in 1941. For the duration of the war, over two hundred "permanent" Red Cross gift shops and about 150 temporary Red Cross shops were opened. A condition of the shop licence issued by the Board of Trade was that all goods offered for sale were gifts. Purchase for re-sale was forbidden. The entire proceeds from sales had to be passed to the Duke of Gloucester's Red Cross or the St John Fund. Most premises were lent free of rent and in some cases owners also met the costs of heating and lighting.[citation needed]

In the early 2010s, shopping at a charity shop became popular enough to earn a name in the United States: thrifting. Environmentalists may prefer buying second-hand goods as this uses fewer natural resources and would usually do less damage to the environment than by buying new goods would, in part because the goods are usually collected locally. In addition, reusing second-hand items is a form of recycling, and thus reduces the amount of waste going to landfill sites. People who oppose sweatshops often purchase second-hand clothing as an alternative to supporting clothing companies with dubious ethical practices. People who desire authentic vintage clothing typically shop at charity shops since most clothing that is donated is old and/or out of normal fashion (often from a recently deceased person who had not updated their clothing for a long time). Many YouTube channels make thrifting videos showcasing fashionable and unusual finds.

Charity shops also tend to be relatively inexpensive which has led to an increase in their popularity during the United Kingdom cost of living crisis.[6] Another reason for charity shop popularity is the chance to occasionally find rare or collectible items at these stores.

Some charity shops, such as PDSA , also sell a range of new goods which may be branded to the charity, or have some connection with the cause the charity supports. Oxfam stores, for example, sell fair trade food and crafts. Charity shops may receive overstock or obsolete goods from local for-profit businesses; the for-profit businesses benefit by taking a tax write-off and clearing unwanted goods from their store instead of throwing the goods out, which is costly.

In Australia, major national opportunity shop chains include the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store (trading as Vinnies) which operate 627 shops across Australia,[7] Anglicare Shops, that currently operate in 19 locations across Sydney and the Illawarra also various locations around Australia, the Salvation Army (trading as Salvos), the Red Cross, MS Research Australia, and the Brotherhood of St. Laurence. Many local charitable organisations, both religious and secular, run opportunity shops. Common among these are missions and animal shelters.

Most of the charity shops in Denmark are operated by either The Danish Red Cross or by Christian organizations. The Danish Red Cross has 250 shops in the country and 10,000 volunteers working in the shops.[9] DanChurchAid has since 1972 operated charity shops, and currently operates 114 shops.[10] The Blue Cross, founded as a Christian organization,[11] runs 55 charity shops in the country, and focuses mainly on helping alcoholics, addicts and other socially marginalized groups.[12]

A study from 2019 shows that danes on average had spent 5.475 kr. on second-hand items the last 12 months, and that 77% of danes had either shopped or sold second-hand, although the study was not exclusive to charity shops.[13]

Oxfam has the largest number of charity shops in the UK with over 700 shops. Many Oxfam shops also sell books, and the organization now operates over 70 specialist Oxfam Bookshops, making them the largest retailer of second-hand books in the United Kingdom. Other Oxfam affiliates also have shops, such as Jersey, Germany, Ireland (45 shops in NI/ROI), the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Other charities with a strong presence on high streets in the UK include The Children's Society, YMCA, British Heart Foundation, Barnardos, Cancer Research UK, Shelter, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Age UK (formerly Age Concern and Help the Aged), Marie Curie Cancer Care, Norwood, Save the Children, Scope, PDSA, Naomi House Children's Hospice and Sue Ryder Care. Many local hospices also operate charity shops to raise funds.

The two largest charity shops in the UK are run by Emmaus. Emmaus Preston store opened in 2016 is on one level and covers 47,000 square feet and Emmaus in Rochdale operate a three floor Department Store since January 2019 which offers the department store feel to the charity store. These stores are run by Emmaus Companions and the money they generate directly benefit the people who work in it. Both stores sell predominantly furniture and white goods but include smaller concessions of clothes, bric-a-brac, books and music.

Almost all charity shops sell on their unsold textiles (i.e. unfashionable, stained or damaged fabric) to textile processors. Each charity shop saves an average of 40 tonnes of textiles every year, by selling them in the shop, or passing them on to these textile merchants for recycling or reuse. This grosses to around 363,000 tonnes across all charity shops in the UK; based on 2010 landfill tax value at 48 per tonne, the value of textiles reused or passed for recycling by charity shops in terms of savings in landfill tax is 17,424,000 p.a.[25] Gift Aid is a UK tax incentive for individual donors where, subject to a signed declaration being held by the charity, income tax paid on donations can be reclaimed by the charity. Although initially intended only for cash donations, the scheme now (since 2006) allows tax on the income earned by charity shops acting as agent for the donor to be reclaimed.[26]

Charity shops in the UK get mandatory 80% relief on business rates on their premises, which is funded by central government (not by local ratepayers) and is one illustration of their support for the charity sector and the role of charity shops in raising funds for charities.[27] Charities can apply for discretionary relief on the remaining 20%, which is an occasional source of criticism from retailers which have to pay in full.[28] 041b061a72


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