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BLOG: St Luke’s goes back to where our retail success began

St Luke’s goes back to where our retail success began

In our 40th anniversary year, we have cut the ribbon at premises on the same city centre street where we opened our first-ever charity shop nearly four decades ago.

When St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth’s new retail store in New George Street welcomed its first customers on Monday 4 July 2022, it was a case of the present echoing the past. Having launched our very first shop elsewhere on the same road in the 1980s, our charity has come full circle back to where its retail success began.

Located between Greggs bakery and the large corner unit that formerly housed Poundland, our new St Luke’s shop is stocked with good quality, pre-loved homeware, including cushions, curtains, throws, glassware and crockery – the kind of items that have been much harder to find in the city centre since the closure of department stores such as Debenhams and British Home Stores. Also on sale are clothes, books and bric-a-brac all donated by our St Luke’s supporters.

Mike Picken, Head of Retail at St Luke’s said: “Opening a new charity shop highlighting our trusted brand in – or near – one of the communities where we deliver our care is always exciting, but the launch of our latest store feels extra special.

“Back in the late 1980s, we opened our first shop to help generate more income to support St Luke’s compassionate care. We’d been deluged with items donated by a community who’d taken the hospice to their hearts. Ever since then, donations have remained high and our customer base loyal because people recognise their support benefits families in their own local area right when they need help most.”

“Our New George Street shop complements our existing outlets in the city centre – Drake, where the focus is on higher-end ladies’ clothes, and Toys R Us, which is very popular for second-hand furniture.”

At the helm of our New George Street store is Manager Julie Bickford, who previously managed St Luke’s Drake City Centre shop. She said: “Ever since we opened on Monday, there’s been a real buzz because we’ve been busy serving St Luke’s regular customers as well as welcoming new faces as word about the store spreads. What we need, though, are more volunteers to help us keep everything running smoothly in store.

“Whether you can give a day of your time each week or just a few hours, it will be so appreciated. You’ll be part of a friendly team making a vital difference with one of our city’s most respected charities.”

St Luke’s New George Street shop is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Anyone interested in volunteering there should call our volunteer services team on 01752 401172 or email volunteer@stlukes-hospice.org.uk