Oxfam to close high street shops until danger from the Covid-19 has passed
Oxfam today announced that it will be closing its high street shops in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The shops close at the end of business on Saturday 21 March and remain shut until the heightened danger posed by the coronavirus has passed.
The organisation has taken the decision to protect the health of its staff, volunteers and customers. The Oxfam Online Shop – which has more than 100,000 products for sale will remain open.
Oxfam has around 600 high street shops in the UK, each one a community hub where like-minded people work, meet, and raise money to help the world’s poorest people access the basics in life, like clean water to drink and sanitation.
Oxfam’s Deputy Trading Director, Anne Webb said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to shut our shops until the danger of the coronavirus has eased.
“But it’s absolutely the right thing to do as the safety of our staff, volunteers and shoppers comes first. Some of our volunteers are elderly, and especially vulnerable to the infection, and we are acutely conscious of our responsibilities towards them.”
Oxfam is asking the public not to leave donations outside shops after they close but hopes the public will continue to make donations and is planning to operate hubs where people can deposit them. More details on this will be announced in due course.
There are 20,000 Oxfam shop volunteers, each shop typically relies on a team of 30 dedicated volunteers supported by one or two staff. Together they generate significant income for the charity’s poverty-fighting work. In the last financial year, Oxfam shops raised £17.3 million after costs – contributing £1.4m a month to the organisation’s work tackling poverty and helping people survive humanitarian crises.
Notes to Editors
- The proceeds of sales from the Oxfam Online Shop and high street shops support the charity’s work to end the injustice of poverty around the world.
- 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!