New Red Cross shop opens in Norfolk town

A new Red Cross shop has opened in a Norfolk town to add to the growing number of charity shops in the high street.

The Diss store, selling everything from lamps, bric-a-brac to books, shoes and clothing items, has replaced the former electrical shop Bennetts in Victoria Road, which closed in March after the retail chain fell victim to the economic downturn.

Red Cross area manager Alex Swanson said the shop, which opened on Saturday, would be running on a minimum two month lease with the option to extend for a longer period, but interest had already been hihg with a number of customers dropping in to donate unwanted possessions.

He said he had been able to kit the store with items from other Red Cross shops in the area, including Ipswich, Woodbridge and Norwich.

Volunteers are needed to join the existing 10 workers who run the shop between 9.30am and 4.30pm every day except Tuesdays and Sundays.

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Many of the items, including the bric-a-brac, are valued at 25p though prices generally range from 25p to �2.50, Mr Swanson said.

He added he had been working in charity shops for 30 years, but the trend for former High Street shop premises to be taken by charities had not started with the economic downturn as shoppers sought cheaper goods.

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'It has been a general trend for the last 30 years and we are near saturation point. I know there is some resistance to charity shops, particularly from other businesses but most businesses would rather have a charity shop than an empty shop space in the High Street,' Mr Swanson said.

To donate or to volunteer, simply drop into the shop.

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