I am concerned that the new store is working against retail shops in general who are all trying to make a living selling the same products, and having to pay full business rates , rents and staff costs.
Charities are given special rates for their shops and taking on empty high street properties (which is acceptable), which may be left empty for long periods. However this store is entirely different. They only employ 4 people and have 25 volunteers - proper jobs that should be paid for and take jobless people back into the workplace. What Salaries are their top people getting and how much actually goes to the charity. They are now moving into major store retailing and only pay a fraction of the cost to do so because of their charitable status. They are also buying in goods to sell and dont rely on donations for everything, what happens to the VAT in this charity status?- do they pay it like everyone else? or are they once again exempt. No one wants to remove the importance of charity work, and we are to applaud the work of volunteers, but now this is a totally new concept, using peoples good volunteering nature to make serious money - is this misplaced loyalty and trust. This situation is only going to make it worse for genuine businesses who pay the taxes due, employ people and strive to make a living in these hard times. Where is the level playing field for our High Street shops and larger stores to compete on.