Vital funding

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Many of the assumptions made by Claire Gardner in her piece about charity shops (Perspective, 10 July) are incorrect. Charity shops provide an invaluable source of low-cost, high-quality goods for people in Scotland to see them through tough times.

Some 50 per cent of people in Scotland in the poorest income bracket shop in charity shops.

The average transaction value for charity shops taken from our recent market analysis is under £5 and has held steady in recent years.

In fact, independent ­research we commissioned last year showed that the top reason for people in Scotland shopping in charity shops is the value for money they provide.

The primary purpose of a charity shop is to raise as much money as possible for its parent charity and this means pricing items accordingly.

This helps charity shops raise more than £25 million every year in Scotland for a huge range of charitable causes.

We should be enormously proud of the achievements of our charity shops in contributing to the funding of vital services up and down Scotland.

Wendy Mitchell

Charity Retail Association

Holloway Road

London

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