Commercial Training​

About our training

We are a multiple award-winning charity Retail Training Business with a range of proven training options. We understand the fundamentals about training and especially individual learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Reading / Writing and Hands on and our training is fully adapted to meet all of the learning styles irrespective of your preference of delivery: Classroom, Online or in Shops.

  • We are a UK Registered Training Business.
  • We are a global award winning Training Business: Skyline have been voted the best UK Specialist Charity Retail Training Business: 2024. 2023 & 2022.
  • Our training has been rated outstanding over the past 8 years by attendees

A bespoke approach to training

We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Since every charity retailer is constituted differently, they have different requirements when it comes to training. By tailoring the training to suit those requirements, we can achieve far superior results.

Making training fun

When people enjoy their training, they are more likely to retain the information and put it into practice. This is especially the case when people are volunteering their time and energy to a cause. As such, our classroom sessions are fun and engaging, and have enjoyed outstanding feedback from all our previous participants.

Our most popular training options

Commercial Training

Charity retail can be a complex business. The range of interdependent variables involved can make the average charity shop far more difficult to manage than its equivalent in traditional retail. Traditional retailers can benefit from a centralised decision-making process, with merchandising guidelines and pricing structures being decided at head office, and merely implemented at store level.

In a charity shop, this model is impracticable. Instead, shop managers must assess a broad range of products in varying condition and make decisions that are right for their individual circumstances. The managers who make the right commercial decisions are invariably those who can draw upon certain key skills. These skills must be instilled pro-actively by the surrounding organisation, via commercial training. This can yield tremendous benefits in any kind of retail setting. But in a charity retail organisation, where decision-making is more decentralised and shop managers exert greater influence, it can be a game-changer.

Given the benefits of commercial training, one might expect it to receive heavy investment across the sector. But the opposite is true: In 2016, a survey commissioned by the Civil Society survey found that charity retailers invest just £67 in training for every staff member annually. While the figure might have changed since then, there can be no doubt that this is an area which most charities grossly neglect. While on-the-job experience can count for a great deal, it is no substitute for training. Among the benefits of formalised training is its ability to identify outmoded practices and update them immediately in the shops so making an immediate impact.

Commercial training delivery options

Classroom Training

Our classroom sessions take place on the client’s site and the training is designed to be fun day, which is very interactive and a mixture of hands on, listening, reading and visual.  They complete with a test which is a clear indication of the capability of the learners which is excellent for basing further personal development and support in helping the learners achieve their optimum performance.

On Site

Onsite instruction allows us to apply new skills to a real-world setting and demonstrate how different methods can provide added value. This can be stand alone, but it is a very practical style of training that links theory to real world practice. It is an excellent addition to classroom training because it allows a recap on classroom exercises in small groups on a one-to-one / one-to-two basis that embeds the training and helps the implementation.

Virtual training packages

Our virtual training packages cover every element of Charity Retail. They are fun, fully interactive, can be completed in small chunks over a prolonged period and and cover a full range of topics.  They come complete with ‘The Charity Retail Certification of Merchandising’ on passing the multiple-choice exam. This is ideal for new starters and to upskill existing team members. The topics covered include:

  • Window Dressing
  • Use of Retail Space
  • Hot Spots
  • Pricing of Donations
  • Using a Brand Guide
  • Merchandising
  • Gift Aid
  • Rotation
  • Stock Density
  • Using Data

The benefits of this package are:

  • No more struggling to keeping shops open for training.
  • Dip in and out at your convenience. 
  • No more ‘death by PowerPoint’.
  • Certified by the UK’s leading charity retail experts.
  • Walk the shop, dress a window, learn at your own pace in any location.
  • Fun and totally interactive.
  • Proven to improve sales.
  • Complete with a highly detailed reference guide.
  • Complete with ‘The Charity Retail Certification of Merchandising’ on passing the multiple-choice exam.

Bespoke training options

We do a range of effective bespoke training course classroom training courses.  We design the course around your specific requirements. Some of the most popular are:

  • Gift Aid
  • Specialist Safeguarding – Grooming

We don’t just offer training for Charity Shop Managers…

We have a range of training and personal development options available to support Charity Retail Senior Managers / Directors.

The ultimate Brand Guide

We can supply charities with the Skyline Brand Guide

  • Over 1,000 Clothing and Accessories Brands 
  • In four brand pillars – VALUE – HIGH STREET = TOP END HIGH STREET – DESIGNER

We can supply charities with the Skyline Price Guide

  • Programmable Clothing and Accessories Brands pricing by charity retail experts for your charity shops, based upon location and format.
  • The perfect companion to the Skyline Brand Guide.  
  • In four brand pillars – VALUE – HIGH STREET = TOP END HIGH STREET – DESIGNER


Where formal coaching is not appropriate, a softer form of support can still be enormously beneficial. We offer remote mentoring support tailored to the needs of the individual. Mentoring may suit an experienced leader who wants to develop further, or it may form a continuation of a coaching support programme.

Choose us to provide your training, and not only will you receive a programme tailored and delivered to the highest standard by a team of UK registered learning providers:

Leadership Coaching

Great leadership relies on a diverse set of skills, many of which can be taught. Our leadership programme builds confidence, raises performance, and reduces stress. It covers everything required to run a Retail Charity and can be formulated to support an existing personal development plan.

Much like our other training options, it can be tailored to individual requirements. Whatever your background and level of experience, we can help. Whether you are finding it difficult to juggle limited resources, you are looking to ease the transition from a more junior role, or you would simply like to develop yourself in a structured learning programme, we can provide the support you need to thrive in charity retail.

Contact us for more details