Health Check

How is your charity retail business really performing?

For a charity retail organisation to be successful, it needs to be able to review and measure its own performance against the optimum potential.  While it is easy to believe this review can be achieved internally the reality is only independent diagnostics brings the assurance required.  Within charity retail a review process is complex, thanks to the range of interdependent variables involved. 

A Skyline Health Check is designed and proven to identity the true potential of a retail business and generate a plan to deliver the additional profits.

A Skyline Health Check is a mixture of strategic and operational diagnostics using qualitative and quantitative analysis.  This is critical to fully understanding the root cause of everything and fundamental to identifying the true potential. Doing this is often difficult for the retail team, who work at the sharp edge of the organisation as they are often too close to it. We also understand the current retail team might be apprehensive so we work with them to reassure them and provide clarity of what we are doing.  

It’s for all of these reasons that Skyline has developed ‘Skyline Health Check’. This market-leading and original ‘Charity Retail Health Check’ service offers charity retailers a detailed, bespoke audit of their operations. It provides impartial, actionable insight through which retail boards and CEOs can then make informed decisions.

By understanding the current state of play, we can make informed decisions about where improvements might be made, and where weaknesses might be exposed in the future. Through this process, we can close the gap between where it is now, and where you want it to be. The more accurate our picture the easier it is to optimise the business and write a retail strategy that is built upon a firm base.

Why Charity Retails sometime need external expertise  

Mainstream retailers have a central team of highly skilled specialists to help strategically decide pricing, use of retail space and merchandising charity retailers don’t have that extensive expert infrastructure.  Skyline have this expertise having worked for and with the leading mainstream retailers in the U

What Is It?

Health Check breaks down every key area of your business, and measures the performance of each in high detail. Rather than simply pointing out the symptoms, we identify the underlying root causes of underperformance, and prescribe a range of potential solutions. It is a highly detailed quantitative analysis of all the data structured and unstructured plus a detailed qualitative review of all aspects of the charity retail business. This is the leading charity retail process in the UK.

No-one else offers a report of such depth and clarity.

What it covers

What’s covered in a Health Check report?

Financial Analysis

We analyse your sales-related data using the UK’s leading tools. Every aspect is examined in detail, including donations, RAG performance, and Gift Aid. You’ll understand where your pressure points are, and where potential areas for improvement might lie.

Of course, data is only worthwhile when it’s fully understood. That’s why we’ll assess your data structures and reporting, and suggest improvements that will provide key decision makers with easy access to the data they need.

Use of retail space, pricing of donations, the use of retail space and the customer journey in shop

Effective use of space is critical, especially at sites where space is at a premium. Our Health Report breaks down your merchandising according to the four Ps, namely: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

We’ll show you what your merchandising looks like from the outside, and where your opportunities lie. This will include a thorough audit of your store’s layout, keeping in mind the potential flow of foot traffic. At the same time, we’ll assess the suitability of your product range for the stores they’re being sold from, while modelling the behaviours and tastes of your local customers. Minor adjustments to the blend can yield measurable results, and we’ve got the experience needed to get it right!

Visual Merchandising

Attracting footfall is fundamental to driving sales. While word of mouth is very powerful, it’s just one of the tools available. Attractive window-displays and a few choice fixtures can make the difference between a passing shopper and one who enters the store. This in turn can drive word-of-mouth.

We can assess the efficacy of your store’s merchandising, down to the finest detail, and identify potential improvements in the process.

Strategic Review

Our audit includes a detailed breakdown of each product group in each individual store, benchmarked against the industry optimum. This allows us to easily see where you’re underperforming, and where you’re doing well.


Transport and logistics form two important pillars of your charity retail business. A review of your current warehouse and transport operation will help to eliminate waste, improve efficiency, and deliver the support your branches need.

A key component of this process is a review of stock rotation and its effectiveness, but we can also take a broader look at your supply chain, highlighting any potential pinch points.


E-commerce is an area of retail that’s always changing. It’s our job keep up with market trends, so you don’t miss a thing. We have unrivalled expertise in both improving existing operations and starting new ones; however sophisticated your e-commerce might be, we can help you improve it.


People make your business run. A Health Check will assess their performance, and determine whether they’re being allowed to reach their potential. Are the structures in place to allow your staff to develop? Are there training opportunities in place? Through a Health Check you’ll be able to maximise opportunities in your charity and remove barriers, whether those barriers are real or perceived.


Volunteers are the lifeblood of a Charity Business, as well as a key point of difference between the sector and traditional retailers. The contribution of volunteers will be critical in the next 18 months, as Covid-19 renders vulnerable groups, who represent a large section of the traditional volunteer-base, unable to contribute.

A health-check will examine how many volunteers your charity needs. We will examine the issue from a number of different angles, and devise strategies to improve numbers.

A Comprehensive and Comprehensible Report

The final report will cover more than 160 pages, and will provide a unique and unprecedented view of your charity retail organisation. Unlike other consultancies, Skyline produce the financial modelling if all of the key recommendations.  Skyline can also carry out a more limited report which focusses on any particular aspect of your operations, allowing you to concentrate on your individual priorities.

Contact us for a health check on your retail business