Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance transform former shop into online selling hub

As the second lockdown forces charity shops to close again, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance’s (LNAA) online listing expert is carefully sorting through donations at the Waddington warehouse to find gems to be sold on eBay.

The hub was one of the charity’s shops which had to close in the first lockdown but as the team worked behind the scenes, it became apparent that this location would be perfect for plans to improve the charity’s online selling presence.

“Thanks to the generous donations we get from our communities, we now have a rich and varied tapestry of items to sell online. We’re starting small and making sure we get it right,” said Head of Retail and Volunteering, Diane Eyre.

“As this is an avenue we haven’t fully explored before, we’re optimistic that it’s an area of real growth – with the opportunity being that we can continue this work in the midst of the pandemic.”

The impact of COVID-19 and the first lockdown in March, saw the charity halt its fundraising events and close all charity shops. The retail estate was already under review and the decision has now been taken to permanently close four shops in Ashby, Retford, Spalding and Sutton.

Diane said: “These shops had suffered over the years from the growing prevalence of online shopping and other factors that over time have affected footfall in high streets up and down the country.

“It hasn’t been an easy or quick decision, but the pandemic added some pressure to our ongoing review process, and we realised that we would need to make these changes.”

The Mansfield Woodhouse, Mapperley, Wragby and Stapleford stores remain part of the LNAA charity shop estate and will reopen when it’s safe to do so. Staff and volunteers at these locations had been working in-store when trading was given the green light in August.

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