Christmas: Did you get your gifts in a charity shop?

More and more people have been choosing to shop in charity shops this Christmas for presents, according to the UK trade association for charity retailers.

The new findings - by independent consultants JRA research – showed 31 per cent of people saying that they had bought a Christmas gift from a charity shop in the past.

But 38 per cent of people said that for this year they had either already bought a Christmas gift from a charity shop, or they were intending to.

For those who have not bought before, but were planning to this year, the reasons were:

l 37 per cent said the range of items in charity shops was improving

l 31 per cent said the quality of items in charity shops was improving

l 36 per cent said it was an affordable way to support a specific charity when they couldn’t afford to give cash

l 27 per cent said it was cheaper than buying from shops on the high street

l 26 per cent said they felt it was particularly important to support charities in the current economic climate

Wendy Mitchell, the association’s head of policy and public affairs, said: “Charity shops are a great way to keep Christmas affordable when people have less to spend, because they sell high quality, unique items that won’t break the bank.

“This research shows that people also want to purchase gifts from charity shops in the economic downturn as a way of continuing to support charities when it’s more difficult to give cash donations.”

Lynn Muller of Cancer Research UK – a member of the Charity Retail Association – said: ‘Christmas is such an important time for our shops. For many families it’s a chance to remember loved ones and to be thankful for those still with us thanks to our vital research.

“We’re delighted that more and more people are choosing to buy their presents from us. For those of you who are not so lucky with the presents you receive, we would be very happy to sell them in our shops where we can raise more valuable funds for Cancer Research UK after Christmas!’