The continuing decline of the high street, increasing operating costs, and the rise of online shopping has forced Sheffield’s Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice to close three of its eight charity shops.
“It is with great sadness that we have had to take the incredibly difficult decision to close our shops at Chesterfield, Worksop and Chapeltown by the end of 2019,” said Sunny Allison, Head of Retail at Bluebell Wood.
The announcement comes amid difficult trading conditions, with declining high street footfall, a shift to online shopping and increased operating costs and business rates all contributing factors.
“Despite the best efforts of all involved, it has not been possible for these three shops to buck the national trend of declining footfall on our high streets with increasing numbers of people choosing to do their shopping online,” added Sunny.
“It costs over £4 million each year to keep the hospice doors open and we have to make every penny count for the children and families who rely on our support.”
The Chesterfield shop, on Packers Row, will close on November 29th. The shops on Market Street, Chapeltown and Bridge Street, Worksop – will close on December 20th.
Bluebell Wood has a network of five other shops throughout the region which remain open and welcome donated goods. They are located in Sheffield city centre, Wombwell in Barnsley, Rotherham town centre, Dinnington and Hellaby.
Sunny added: “We’d like to thank the many supporters and shoppers who have given us donations or purchased from the shops, and our loyal volunteers who have given thousands of unpaid hours to work alongside our brilliant staff and make all three shops such wonderful and welcoming places to visit.
“All involved should be very proud of what they’ve been a part of. Thanks to their hard work, dedication and support we’ve been able to make a real difference to local families going through the most difficult of times.”