Hospice to develop retail strategy to boost income

St Wilfrid's Hospice Charity Shop, Langney Road, Eastbourne March 23rd 2013 E13041P
St Wilfrid's Hospice Charity Shop, Langney Road, Eastbourne March 23rd 2013 E13041P

St Wilfrid’s Hospice has announced plans to develop a new retail strategy which will increase income from the charity’s existing chain of shops and expand involvement into e-commerce and other revenue models.

The two-year project, in collaboration with the University of Brighton, takes the form of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which will be part-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The ESRC launches new funding for KTPs in the retail sector this week.

A spokesperson for St Wilfrid’s Hospice said, “As we receive only 15 per cent of our income from government, increasingly we have to look for new ways to generate additional income. Our shops and retail operation have always provided a steady stream of income but we know there are new and creative ways that we can grow this area of our business. We are looking forward to exploring all the possibilities with the University of Brighton.”

The project has provided a dedicated graduate, Veronica Malley, who gained a Masters in the Cultural and Creative Industries from Kings College and has worked for a host of blue chip companies.

Veronica said, “This project is such an exciting opportunity – we have the potential to really transform St Wilfrid’s retail operations and to fully realise the potential of our existing and future donations.”

The charity decided to invest initially in developing its retail activity as this represents a low-risk model with low capital investment.

The project began with a search for possible savings and will include developing ‘charity-shopper’ customer profiles to ascertain who buys from the shops and why.