Monday, June 22, 2009

'Britain's biggest charity shop'

Some while ago we noticed the existence of the Newlife Superstore - sometimes described as the biggest charity shop in Britain. I'd recently been discussing charity shops on twitter with @charityshops and others, so thought it was a good opportunity to check it out.

So we planned our attack. Despite Cannock being about 45 minutes away by car, we decided to take the eco option and go by train using the rather excellent Network West Midlands daysaver ticket.

Unfortunately it appears that so few people actually use these tickets, the station ticket office are not aware of them. Cue 10 mins of frustration at Tile Hill station. C'mon Centro, if you want people to buy the tickets, make sure the train companies know they exist!

Anyway, what with a change in Birmingham, the journey was almost doubled. Still, after a bit of a walk on arrival in Cannock we eventually arrived at the Newlife shop.

The layout is similar to TK Maxx - large numbers of rails of clothing with lots of people. Yes, really there were loads of people in a charity shop!

The main difference with any other charity shop is that Newlife accept products from brands because they're not wanted for whatever reason. This arrangement means that Newlife has to remove every label from every piece of clothing they sell. Believe me, that is a lot of labels.

There is clothing everywhere. There is no proper organisation of sizes and styles. When you add in the fact that the labels are removed (and hence it is very hard to tell sizes of things you're looking at), browsing for clothing becomes a major headache. And as a man, there is a small percentage of mens clothing, much mixed haphazardly with the womens. In the end I just gave up.

Good points:

Brave attempt at a different style of charity shop

Bad points:

Massive queues at changing rooms.
Inexplicable £3.50 charge to use the store
Clothing randomly mixed around the store
Lack of labels meaning finding anything is very difficult
Shortage of decent amount of mens clothing
Large number of Newlife websites mean that planning a visit is extremely difficult.



Post a Comment

<< Home