Letter: Charity shops - Do we want to have so many?

Beulah Street, Harrogate.
Beulah Street, Harrogate.

I was saddened to see that Cafe Rouge on Beaulah Street has now closed. No doubt unable to continue trading successfully due to the high costs of business rates, employment of staff and investment in stock.

I was not surprised to see that the site of the former Cafe Rouge now houses yet another charity shop. How on earth can tradespeople possibly compete with businesses that have virtually no staff costs, as they are manned by volunteers, and are stocked entirely with donations?

A check around Harrogate’s town centre has revealed that there are some 11 charity shops, with five in Beulah Street and two in nearby Commercial Street alone. The highly paid administrators who head up the charities concerned must be rubbing their hands with glee.

Perhaps I have misread the situation and the proliferation of charity shops is what the majority want and in the future people planning a day out will say “let’s go to Harrogate, have lunch at Betty’s, wander through the Valley Gardens and visit the town’s charity shop quarter”.

Neil Anderson

Meadowcroft,

Harrogate

Are there too many charity shops in our towns, or should they have a fair crack of the whip? Email news@harrogateadvertiser.co.uk