Wimbledon charity shops feel the heat as shoppers seek air con

It’s not just commuters and gardeners longing for the heatwave to end – the heat is on for Wimbledon charity shops who are failing to meet their revenue targets.

Staff in shops on The Broadway said today there had been a clear reduction in the number of people through their doors since the start of July.

Katie Forbes, 18, has spent her summer so far volunteering at the Trinity Hospice shop, as she has for the past three years.

“We’re not reaching our revenue targets this summer,” she said. “Less people are visiting the shop – it’s just too hot.

“Normally I see a lot of local residents here. They know the area and a lot of them know each other quite well. Some see charity shopping as a social activity. Volunteering is a good social thing to do, too.”

Although fewer customers have been shopping at these charity retail branches, volunteers and workers said they had noticed an increase in the number of donations and volunteer applications.

Finnian Anyanwu, 18, who is spending his summer volunteering at the Cancer Research shop, said: “So far, I’ve really been enjoying volunteering here. It’s peaceful, and I’ve met a lot of interesting people. It’s a good experience.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of people are buying summery dresses, and books”.

The shop on The Broadway raised £83,515 through Gift Aid donations last year.

Oxfam is the only charity shop on Wimbledon High Street that is fully air-conditioned, to the relief of its customers.

Imm waitress Kan Way, 40, who has lived in the Wimbledon area for 18 years, said: “I go to the charity shops here very often with my family.

“We go there to donate old things whenever we have a clear-out. We like buying clothes, plates, and cutlery, from them. It’s quite fun to look through everything.

“The high street is definitely busier than it used to be when I first came here. But this summer, more people are going out for drinks than to indoor restaurants and shops. The shopping mall looks busier, though.”

Iyesha, 26, is from Somerset and visits Wimbledon every summer.

She said: “I don’t like shopping in the heat, especially in busier areas like Oxford Circus.

“The charity shops here are nice. I like going to them with my mum. I just browse around and look for interesting things and hidden gems… but it would help if they all had air-conditioning!”

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