Diss East Coast Hospice charity shop relaunches as ‘£1 or less’ store

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A charity shop located in the Diss Heritage Triangle says it is optimistic about growing support in the town after its re-branding as a pound store.

The East Coast Hospice (ECH) Shop, based in Market Hill, recently re-opened following a second relaunch in less than two years, with all items now priced at £1 or less, which was inspired by the “fantastic” success of another of the charity’s locations in Lowestoft.

Jennifer Beasley, chairman of East Coast Hospice, which runs nine stores in Norfolk and north Suffolk, said they were determined to keep the Diss shop open, despite very limited success in its previous two incarnations.

“We have been doing a lot of thinking and we really didn’t want to leave the shop dormant,” she told the Diss Express.

“We had to decide ‘do we get the Diss shop up and running again, or do we let it close?’

“Our Lowestoft shop has been a pound shop for about a year and has done absolutely fantastically.

“It has doubled its income per week.

“We are just hoping that the people in Diss will get to know more about ECH and what we are doing.”

In addition to the new pricing model, the outlet is now also operated entirely by a small staff of unpaid volunteers, as it seeks to increase its income to help fund the building of a specialist care and therapy facility for the Waveney area, currently scheduled for construction in 2017.

Ms Beasley added she felt the change in approach for the Diss store would help customers more easily identify the items they wanted and pick up a bargain whilst doing so.

“To be honest, if you throw things into these ‘rag bins’, you get nothing, and some of the stuff is good quality,” she said.

“If we put it up for a pound, we can be selling a lot of things. We can get through about 900 items a week.

“Every shop brings in income and brings us closer to our hospice.”

The store, which stocks a variety of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, bric-a-brac, books, CDs, DVDs, and jewellery, will be open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 10am and 3pm, although these hours could be extended to other days of the week if it finds more volunteers to come on board.

To contact the shop, call 01379 650396.

For more information about the charity itself, please pay a visit to www.eastcoasthospice.org.uk