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Keech Hospice Care has deployed new EPoS technology across its 33 charity stores to boost revenue through maximising Gift Aid contributions.

“Gift Aid is a huge revenue stream for us as we raise more than £300,000 each year through its capture,” said Angela Burgess, head of retail at Keech Hospice Care. “But with research showing that charities claim less than half of Gift Aid available to them, we wanted to take steps to make sure we’re not missing out. So Keech is thrilled to roll out this new EPoS technology.”

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Borehamwood storeLondon-based charity, All Aboard Shops, has doubled the amount of Gift Aid it collects within just two years after switching its EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) system to CHARiot from Nisyst.

The charity has recently collected in excess of 35 per cent of Gift Aid on donated items across its 18 shops; twice as much as the monthly average of 17 per cent it collected with its previous EPoS system and the highest in the charities 30 year history.

With 17 shops across London and one in Manchester, All Aboard benefits over 60 registered UK charities through the sale of donated clothes and household goods. The company rolled out the CHARiot system to its shops two years ago and uses the system’s Full Scan Mode (FSM) to ensure that gift Gift Aid is processed on eligible items by preventing the transaction from being completed until the barcoded label has been scanned.

Chief executive of All Aboard, Alan Haynes, explains: “Reviewing our EPoS provider was a high priority for me when I joined All Aboard and we opted for the CHARiot system because it is very simple and intuitive, offers us a more efficient way of collecting Gift Aid and is extremely robust in terms of HMRC compliance.

“Two years on, not only have we doubled the Gift Aid collection we were achieving with our old system, but we have also found the system to be 100 per cent reliable with zero errors. What’s more, Nisyst’s helpdesk ensures that any queries from our staff and volunteers are resolved quickly and easily over the phone.”

The positive impact on All Aboard’s revenue since switching to the CHARiot system has prompted the charity to develop plans to implement additional CHARiot functionality.  All Aboard has recently established a warehouse facility and now plans to use CHARiot’s Gift Aid on Rag (GAoR) capabilities to maximise rag items that are not suitable for sale in its shops.  The GAoR functionality enables accurate calculation of Gift Aid based on the current price of rag to ensure full HMRC compliance.

All Aboard is also considering implementing a lottery in future and plans to adopt the CHARiot Lottery function to ensure Gift Aid is collected on ticket sales.

Alan adds: “We know that the CHARiot system can provide us with additional functionality to help us maximise Gift Aid revenues, while providing accurate management information and supporting robust compliance.

“Charities often make procurement decisions based on purchase cost but our experience with CHARiot demonstrates the value of factoring in functionality, compliance and service too.”

 

Some people love to shop; it’s their natural state. They adore spending hours casually making their way down the main street, diving into small side shops and wading through the crowds to get to the high street stores. This particular species of human being loves to wade through a clothes rack, digging through piles of shirts and trousers, searching for the very best value for money.

The other species of human being is known as the non-shopper. These people will shop when forced to do so, but prefer to steer clear of the stores as much as possible. When they do shop – and trust us they do – they prefer looking through racks and hangers they can easily see. Digging through a jumble sale of clothes isn’t their idea of fun and, in order to entice and please these reluctant shoppers you need to look at how you lay out your charity shop.

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Charity shops have a name for themselves as being a bit of a jumble sale. With t-shirts thrown in with skirts and dresses hung up alongside coats, it can become a bit of a chore having to dig through the mass of donated clothing.

From using a specialised charity EPoS system to designing window displays and clothes organisation, here are a couple of tips to help you bring in the buyers!

Rack Organisation

It’s hard to find what you want when you shop; some people go into a store with a very specific item of clothing in mind and never truly find it while others walk into a shop and haven’t a clue what they’re looking for.

If a rack is too crowded and full of everything in the store, certain items may get lost in the frenzy, pushed to the back or sandwiched between two bulky items never to see the light of day again. Organising your racks is imperative when trying to sell your donated goods. After all, if they can’t be seen then they won’t be bought.

  • Clearly indicate which clothes are for women and which are for men.

 

  • Separate your clothes into groups e.g. dresses, t-shirts, jumpers etc

If you want to, you can also make it easier for your shoppers by organising your clothes into size order.

 

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De-clutter Your Shop Floor

Health and Safety love a good ol’ rant, so of course you need to make sure that you don’t have stacks of books lined up in front of the fire escape, lining the staircase or framing a doorway. This is a little bit of common sense though, what we really mean is not to over-fill your shop floor.

Some people will love shimmying between clothes rails and boxes full of children’s toys, but this can sometimes seem too confusing and can put people off searching for good buys. Section off areas of your shop for your different items, such as books, toys, jewellery, clothes, shoes, ornaments and so on.

Another option is to keep some of your goods in the back room and replace a bought item with them.

 

Pile of clothes
 

Window Display

Bringing customers into your charity shop is your main aim. Some people will quite happily wonder in of their own accord, while others will need a bit more persuading. Your window display will be your selling point.

  • Neatly display outfits that work well together alongside accessories you may have in your store.

 

  • Use different levels in order to capture the eye. Keeping your entire window display on the same level can seem boring and will more than likely not capture a tired shoppers attention as they trawl the main street

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Now that your shop is organised and you can see where you’re standing, you’ll want your customers’ great experience to continue from the moment they enter your charity shop to when they come to the checkout. Your charity EPoS system can help you out here too. Our charity Full Scan Mode (FSM) is both employer and volunteer friendly, making it easier for you to use and keep track of your stock. You can contact us on 01204 706 000 to find out more about our EPoS systems as well as getting in contact with our experienced support team if you have any questions about your system.