DESPITE a positive start for a controversial charity shop in Rugby, town centre donations have now slumped.
Stocks at the British Heart Foundation Furniture and Electrical Store in Rugby’s High Street have now reached critical levels, according to shop manager Karen Wilson. Donations of electrical goods are particularly low, as well as sofas, chairs and other furniture.
Mrs Wilson said: “We desperately need electrical goods but stock is down across the board.
“People have given us their bits and bobs when we first opened and it was fresh in people’s minds but that seems to have slipped away now.
“Footfall is great. We’re getting the people through the door, we just need more donations.”
The shop was criticised when it opened earlier this year in the huge former Walkabout bar by traders in the town due to the fact that it - and other charity shops - receive an 80 per cent discount in business rates.
The charity defended its place on the High Street saying that last year the shops raise more than £22 million to help fight heart disease.
Around five per cent of the furniture and electrical goods are new, while the remainder is second hand items.
Mrs Wilson said: “We’ve got a lot of TVs for sale at the moment but not as many as we would normally have.
“Sometimes people don’t realise we’re a charity shop until they walk in and see a TV for £15. A lot of people have thrown their old TVs away because they’ve been told that they won’t work after the digital switch over.
“That is not the case. They just need to be re-tuned and connected to a digital box.
“Anything people can give us we will take and re-sell it. It will help save lives in the process.”
The shop will accept old TVs, coffee makers, beds, tables, armchairs, chests of drawers and much more.
Area manager Nigel Marston added: “We are urging people to think of us when they are having a clear-out.”
A free collection service is available. For more information call 0844 2489183.