Retail Strategy

A clear and robust retail strategy is critical to the success of any charity retail business. Without a clear plan of action, after all, any endeavour is doomed before it even begins. What’s more, this strategy needs to be clearly communicated to the people who’ll be putting it into action. In the case of your charity retail business, this means all of your staff and volunteers.

Charity retail can be a complex business, and thus it often calls for a complex plan – one that maximises opportunities while identifying potential threats. Tackling all of the interdependencies requires a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles at work. That’s where Skyline can help.

What we do

We help charities to fully understand their operation, correcting any misconceptions along the way. With our help, they can put together plans that secure your required revenue in the long term. These might account for growth, structure, and cultural changes.

Of course, examining just one branch of the business may lead to unintended consequences. That’s why we assess the organisation in its entirety, considering every underlying strength and weakness. By doing this in collaboration with the charities themselves, we can glean every possible insight into every operation, and formulate a strategy that’s actionable and relevant.

What do we look at?

Retail operation

The retail operations of the store are where most of the existing value can be found. Using a combination of structured and unstructured data, we review baseline performance, identify weaknesses, and devise a plan to address those weaknesses while building on areas of strength.


E-commerce is a promising growth sector, which many charities are failing to capitalise on. We bring considerable expertise on the sector to bear on this problem, measuring the performance of our clients and comparing them to industry benchmarks. This is a fast-moving area where small changes can yield dramatic benefits, and thus it’s important to draw upon expert guidance. Whether you’re looking to establish a new e-commerce operation, or to improve on an existing one, our support can make a critical difference in leveraging a vital new revenue-stream.

New stores

Expansion can be a tricky thing. With our support, you’ll be able to avoid pitfalls that come from growth. We’ll examine your existing capacity, and the potential for profitable growth that might be realised by investing in extra outlets. We’ll factor in the cost of set-up and rent, as well as the sales you’ll get in return. Our experience in expansion provides us with an unprecedented insight into what’s involved: put simply, we understand what works and what doesn’t, and why.

Existing stores

As well as looking into new stores, we also consider the long-term sustainability of existing ones. This is critically important, as it allows problems to be identified and remedied before they have a chance to harm the wider business.


Refits are a powerful means of improving the profitability of an existing store. But they can only do this effectively if they’re conducted in the right way. We’ll examine your business case and determine the likely return on the investment, thereby allowing you to make an informed decision on the way forward. As part of this service, we will assess your current estate and see whether it is delivering on its existing potential. It may be that improvements can be made without the upheaval of a full refit.


Our experience of the market allows us to ensure that your branches align with industry best-practice. Having done this, we can install the appropriate checks and balances to stabilise those practices. Our approach is driven by data and vindicated by a string of happy clients.

With our support, you can compose a strategy that will account for every avenue of revenue growth, as well as every opportunity to control costs. It’ll be robust and flexible enough to withstand changing market conditions, and adaptable enough to be updated in years to come.

Contact us to discuss your retail strategy today!