Sales at the Oxfam Online Shop soared by 33 per cent in the Christmas trading period, as shoppers looked for an easy way to buy ethical gifts and cards that fight extreme poverty at the same time.
Oxfam's total retail sales over the eight week Christmas period reached £16.9 million. That represents an increase of 1.2 per cent on the same period in 2016, and an extra £198,906 raised. That's enough to provide clean safe water for almost 200,000 people in an emergency.
Vintage and designer clothes for the party season were the online shop's top search terms, with brands Burberry, Barbour, Gucci, Whistles and Boden particularly popular. First edition books, as well as cameras, blankets and throws were highly sought after.
E commerce sales, including the Oxfam Online Shop and other online platforms such as eBay, accounted for 5.4 per cent of Oxfam's total sales - up from 4.5 per cent last year.
Andrew Horton, Oxfam Trading Director, believes the Oxfam Online Shop's potential for growth and impact is huge.
Andrew Horton said: "I can't thank the public enough for their support - and our volunteers and shop managers for their excellent work. The rise in Oxfam's retail sales over Christmas, particularly online sales, brings hope for the world's poorest people. Oxfam could spend this extra income in Niger to improve water and reduce malnutrition in 15,000 mothers and their children for one year.
"Sales in our high-street shops remained healthy, despite snow in the run up to the festive period. These shops not only deliver the lion's share of Oxfam's retail income, they are community hubs, vibrant spaces where people work, volunteer, donate, shop and interact.
"Now we need to strengthen Oxfam's poverty fighting work, by doubling online sales over the next three years. Building on the Sourced by Oxfam range, such as with the introduction of our new women's accessories later this month, positions us as a desirable destination for shoppers seeking beautiful ethical products with the power to make the world a fairer, kinder place."
The impressive growth of online sales seen this Christmas is largely attributed to three marketing initiatives taken by the Oxfam Online Shop. Its Click for Karma campaign reached more than 9 million people on social media, and led to a 17 per cent increase in traffic to the site. Its Black Friday promotion triggered the shop's most successful trading day since its launch in 2007. The expanded Sourced by Oxfam range of ethical and fair trade gifts, including baskets, blankets and rugs,
attracted a 123 per cent increase in sales compared to the previous year.
Like for Like sales in Oxfam's high street shops were up 1.6 per cent, driven by the Sourced by Oxfam range of Christmas cards and crackers, roll wrap, fair trade gifts and chocolates, which grew 6.8 per cent like for like versus last year.
Healthy Christmas sales demonstrate the public's continued support for Oxfam and its mission. Twenty-three thousand people also showed their commitment by volunteering in Oxfam shops. Much loved comedian Harry Hill is one of them. He recently volunteered at the Oxfam Shop in Victoria, London for Oxfam's Give a Shift campaign. Watch the film of Harry volunteering here.
Harry Hill said: "I volunteered to Give a Shift because I'm a fan of Oxfam. It's out to put an end to injustice and poverty, which is very difficult to argue with."
The TV star is encouraging everyone to volunteer at Oxfam shops which rely on teams of volunteers to stay open.
Harry said: "I've really enjoyed looking behind the scenes of Oxfam. I've been coming here since I was 12. Now I've got to look behind the curtain. I've got to work the tills, and met some very interesting customers. Anything that involves the public has potential to be fun. You never know who is going to walk in the door and what they are going to say to you."
Find out more about volunteering at Oxfam here.
The British public's wonderful generosity and support was also evident in collecting tins positioned by tills in Oxfam shops. The tins raised £191,000 in donations for Oxfam's Rohingya Crisis appeal to help families in Bangladesh.
For more information and spokespeople please contact Emma Fabian, Oxfam Press Officer 01865 472193/07825 503 274 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors:
- All sales figures are for the eight week Christmas Trading period from 29 October to 23 December compared to the same weeks in 2016.
- All profits from sales from Oxfam's Online Shop and high street shops support the charity's work to end the injustice of extreme poverty around the world.
- Oxfam launched the UK's first online charity shop in 2007. This was the tenth Christmas since the launch of Oxfam Online Shop, the UK's biggest charity shop with thousands of unique treasures all in one place, from the Oxfam Unwrapped range of charity gifts to the Sourced by Oxfam range of ethically sourced new products and more than 125,000 unique second-hand items. There are over 70,000 books, more than 34,000 women's clothing and accessories items, 18,000 music products, films and video games and 4,000 items of homewares and collectables. Over 300 Oxfam shops
across the country upload new items to the site every day, and volunteers at two central hubs, based in Milton Keynes and Batley, Yorkshire, upload thousands of new items a week. www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
- Oxfam has 620 high street shops across the UK selling donated fashion, books, music, home wares and the Sourced by Oxfam range of new products. The shops are supported by a workforce of more than 23,000 shop volunteers.
- Sourced by Oxfam is a unique range of ethically sourced brand new products carefully selected by a team of buyers who search for pioneering suppliers who put people before profit, and produce quality products with the emphasis on small-scale production and sustainable materials. The range is available in high street shops and online.
· Oxfam is a global movement of people all working towards the same goal - an end to the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters, help people earn a living, and speak out on the big issues, like inequality and climate change, that keep people poor. And we won't stop until we get there. Join us!
- Last year (2016/17) Oxfam responded to 31 humanitarian emergencies, providing aid to 8.6m people. This included: one million people in Yemen, providing water and giving cash or vouchers to families to enable them to buy food; life-saving assistance to 600,000 people in South Sudan, including food distributions and access to safe and clean water; reaching 365,000 people in Iraq, by providing water to entire refugee camps and surrounding towns and villages; providing water to over 400,000 people affected by drought in Ethiopia.
- There are now nearly 868,000 Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazaar - the pace of new arrivals making this the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world with hundreds of people still arriving every day. Families are in dire need of support. Oxfam is responding by providing clean drinking water through water points, sustainable toilets, hand washing stations and will shortly be providing food assistance through vouchers - we have so far reached more than 185,000 people.
- View the film of Harry Hill giving a shift for Oxfam on Oxfam GB's You Tube channel at https://youtu.be/hQ-aOvWtJhY
- For downloadable images of Oxfam shops visit: https://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?c=34797&k=b6464f520f