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Retail Strategy for Charity Sector 

The Brief

The Retail Institute were approached by a hospice charity to develop a retail strategy for their chain of regional retail bricks & mortar outlets and online provision. The objective was to provide clear evidence on the best practices in charity retail along with comprehensive customer profiles and undertake an audit of the existing retail mix to inform the future strategy.

What We Did

To understand the charity landscape fully and identify best practice in the sector, an extensive literature review was undertaken which was then supplemented with interviews with other senior retail charity stakeholders to highlight current practices and opportunities for income generation.

A detailed analysis of existing management and monitoring activities was undertaken to understand the retail mix and local demography of each store.

As part of this analysis, Retail Store Managers were interviewed to provide insights on the current structure and investigate the marketing activities being conducted at store level. Primary research was conducted using a customer questionnaire to help better understand the demographic profile of consumers who visited the stores. A cluster analysis, using the survey data, revealed details of shopper motivations and views on the client’s chain of shops.  


The client was provided with a clear set of conclusions and recommendations that included:

  • How shopping habits have evolved and where charity retail fits in the modern high street.
  • Customer segmentation according to the motivations, buying habits and their future intentions.
  • Understanding of customers’ awareness and engagement as well as ‘brand’ perceptions of the Hospice.
  • How the Hospice can use the segmentation to target different customer groups for different shops in the chain.
Why We Are Best Placed
  • Access to dedicated researchers who can analyse a breadth of data sources – from academic literature to industry databases and provide a meaningful translation of gathered intelligence.
  • Through application of robust research methods, we collect primary data to provide you with data-driven evidence for strategic direction.
  • Extensive expertise in conducting consumer studies and interpreting results for clear insights.
  • Position as an academic body means that we are non-biased, trusted and reliable as a research partner.
  • ‘Not-for-profit’, meaning competitive rates compared to industry standards.