Brand Directory – Eliminate The Guesswork

“How much shall I put on this?”
It’s a question heard in every charity retail shop around the Country at one time or another. The battle to strike the perfect balance between selling greater volumes and generating maximum profit on each sale – it’s not easy! Donations can throw up a whole host of weird and wonderful offerings. These offerings will never come in the same condition and on top of that there are time pressures to consider. These factors are so implicitly linked to Charity Retail that it isn’t any wonder that pricing will so often come down to one measure… guesswork!

“Anything that can be done to eliminate the guesswork will help to generate the highest possible overall profit”
Barry Moles, Author of ‘The Science of Charity Retail’

Eliminate the Guesswork
Pricing strategy is a hugely important aspect of retailing, and especially in charity retailing. Get it right and you will see huge differences in sales performance, as well as knock-on benefits in sorting and replenishment. What’s the key? Knowing your brands!
We all like to think of ourselves as “on trend” and up to date with the latest fashion developments, and most people will quite proudly tell you the fiscal difference between a Primark and a Prada. But charity retail is going to pose much tougher challenges than that! Whilst we may live in the ‘Information Era’ and Google can help fill in some of the blanks, it is by no means a quick fix – just ask anybody who has sorted through bags of donations how they’d feel about google searching each and every item!

Quicker Decisions, Fewer Mistakes
With time pressures mounting and donations piling up, what is the easiest and most efficient way to manage the workload? With over 11,500 clothing retail stores in the UK alone, it would be quite a challenge to get a reference price for each and every donation you receive and so the quickest and most efficient first step would be to categorise the brands. Allow yourself some breathing space by sorting each donation you get into a suitable pricing category based on a tier system.

What Do The Experts Say?
Charity Retail Training & Support Services are the UK’s largest, registered charity retail training provider and they have categorised brands into four tiers;

  • Value
  • High Street
  • Top High Street
  • Designer/Luxury

These banding systems are a great guide on how your donations will vary by category – but that’s the easy part. ‘Knowing your brands’ and actually assigning each item into a tier is the real test and, with that, we could all use a little help.

What Help Is Available?
The Charity Retail Training & Support Services’ industry-leading Brand Directory lists more than 700 fashion and accessory brands alphabetically and next to each brand name you will see an abbreviation within a coloured box. These abbreviations relate to the above banding and will tell you immediately into which category your item falls. In other words, it eliminates the guesswork!

We are entirely confident that you will not find a brand directory on the market as comprehensive and insightful as this.

The Result?
The insight provided by this document will give your charity retail team, including both paid staff and volunteers, the resource and clarity to make confident and precise decisions when it comes to the pricing of donations. It will help optimise your pricing structure consistently and quickly across every individual outlet. This is a tool that will ultimately empower your team to deliver better sales and profit performance in the long-term.

Skyline Business Services are a UK registered training provider, made up of a varied team of skilled specialists. Our team provide charities with the support they need to achieve their goals. Our breadth of experience and dedication empowers countless charities to optimise the return from their retail outlets.

If you would like to find out more about our Brand Directory or any of the other ways that we have helped so many charities with their retail business, please get in touch at or on 0208 050 7514.

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