Douglas Macmillan Hospice's charity superstore raises £250,000 in first year
A CHARITY superstore has revealed it has raised £250,000 since it opened its doors exactly a year ago.
The Douglas Macmillan Hospice took over the former Kwik Save site, in Broadway, Meir, last November.
And it has proved such a hit with bargain hunters that they can often be seen queuing outside before the shop opens at 9am.
Manager Barbara Salt said: "Shoppers literally queue up waiting for us to open. They seem to really like what we offer, which is basically everything, at very reasonable prices."
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The shop sells clothes, accessories, jewellery, bric-a-brac and furniture.
It also has an in-store cafe selling drinks, breakfast and sandwiches.
Customers can expect to pay as little as £2 for an item of clothing.
All proceeds from sales go towards the Blurton-based hospice, with a small percentage to cover the rent and managerial wages.
Co-manager Ann Tait said: "We've done better than we ever could have imagined by raising £250,000 in our first year.
"The shop does so well because we don't try to dress it up as something it's not. We're not trying to be M&S, we're a charity shop and we sell second-hand things for very low prices. That's what people like about us."
Ann used to manage the much smaller hospice shop in Blurton, before transferring to Meir.
She said: "We've got Yvonne Colclough, who is the head of retail at Douglas Macmillan, to thank for the move really, as she saw the potential of moving the shop to a bigger space.
"Of course we wouldn't be able to run without our customers and our generous donors, lots of whom come back time and time again. We're extremely grateful."
The hospice provides care for adults across North Staffordshire who face cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. It costs £9 million a year to run with two thirds of money coming from local voluntary donations.
Volunteer José Cartlidge, aged 69, of Uttoxeter Road, Longton, said she was moved to help out at the shop after losing her sister to cancer in 1996.
She now helps out every Thursday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
She said: "Douglas Macmillan were absolutely brilliant while my sister was there. I really look forward to my Thursdays."
Shopper, Ann Marie Bowyer, of Arbourfield Drive, Bucknall, said: "I come here several times a week.
"I love it because the prices are so good, and you can find some brilliant stuff, especially for kids."
Paul Downey, spokesman for the hospice, said: "£250,000 is a fantastic amount of money, which will go towards patient care. We can't thank our supporters enough."