cigarette pack Voluntarily disadvantaging
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Charity shops in Scotland don't have to pay business rates (those in England pay all of 20%), so they have a real advantage over all other High Street outlets. Of course they don't pay tax and they get most of their stock for free.

Charity shops are not very efficient. Some, myself amongst them, believe these shops serve little purpose other than for advertising (01). However we've been taught that charity is good, run by upstanding, caring people, while the reality is almost all of the big name charities are run by charity professionals who get paid serious money, all this on the back of a population that's essentially hoodwinked.

That said, it seems their appeal is waning. This advert was in the British Heart Foundation shop window for more than two weeks - and still no takers. Seems few want to give up 3 hours of their Saturday afternoons so the shop manager can take her lunch break.

Poster seeking volunteer british heart foundation.
Seen in the British Heart Foundation shop, Raeburn Place, Edinburgh. September 2018.

Yes they do employ shop managers. The salary's not great, little more than the minimum wage, however it's regular work and with enough volunteers they can remain open seven days a week.

So if anyone wants to help with the spread of charity shops, offer unfair competition to regular businesses and - in the case of British Heart, British Lung and Cancer Research UK - aid them in their war against smokers (the single greatest catastrophe to hit bingo halls, pubs and social clubs) then keep your eyes peeled. Now the economy is in expansion mode and unemployment is tanking there's hardly a week goes by without a charity shop near you with an advert like this.

Or you could pop into your local supermarket; they too have a serious problem attracting staff and pay £8 an hour.
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Smoking Scot
October 2018