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New lease of life for Comet store as charity shop moves in

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 17, 2013

MOVING IN: Geraldine Jacobs, shop support manager, outside Comet.

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NEW life will be breathed into one of Gloucester's former Comet stores as a huge charity shop moves in.

St Oswald's retail park will be home to England's biggest second-hand furniture donation centre, run by the YMCA.

They are leasing the building until a buyer can be found.

Electrical supplier Comet closed its doors for the last time in December after falling into administration.

Some have welcomed the news that the unit will be filled, but others believe a new charity shop is the last thing the city needs.

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: "It is much better to have the building being used than have it sitting there empty."

But Mark Owen, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses in Gloucester, said: "When it opened I said we needed it like a hole in the head. We need this like two holes in the head."

The store will open on January 28 and will be home to furniture such as wardrobes, sofas, curtains, tables and chairs.

Money raised for purchases will go to YMCA which is the world's oldest youth charity, helping provide young people with a safe place to live and providing them with training schemes.

Geraldine Jacobs, shop support manager, said: "It is going to be major for us. We pop-up in places that are up for sale but this unit is huge and we are hoping that we will have a long stay."

The announcement will spark fresh concerns that charity shops are stepping into the graveyard of big name brands that have collapsed.

YMCA opened its existing charity shop in The Oxebode in 2012.

But Geraldine said: "It will have everything you need to revamp your home and people will find bargains."

They need volunteers to man the store. Call 07969 590486 if you can help or call 01242 241633 to have donations collected.

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  • MrGarnet  |  January 17 2013, 9:15PM

    The other thing is when you buy something that looks ok and you pay a considerable price for the item then find it has been cobbled together i.e. bodged you cannot get your money back! I will not buy from a charity shop again with Argus,Gillmans at lest they are responsible traders and will give refunds or replacements. They also pay wages and taxes.

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  • SELINA30  |  January 17 2013, 7:12PM

    Gloucester bucking the national trend?

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  • chrisz  |  January 17 2013, 4:56PM

    I'm also surprised how businesses are treated differently by the media and also this newspaper, them condoning this development of substandard shops popping up and trying to sell it as good news. When my wife opened a shop as an independent retailer in the market I called the news desk two months ago and I'm still waiting for any reaction. For a newspaper representing the people of this fine city I'd expect less bias and more support for the real businesses and more critical news reporting.

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  • chrisz  |  January 17 2013, 4:49PM

    Oh god another charity shop-this is definitely not what Gloucester needs. Even now you can barely walk two metres without passing one making the city centre and vicinity less and less attractive instead of encouraging proper new businesses to open that generate tax income and jobs instead of charities manning their shops with volunteers in order to line their pockets and supporting massive overheads in their HQ's. Real businesses and especially independent shops are suffering from this as more and more people succumb to the bargain mentality fuelled by this. When does the council step in and change their licensing laws and attitute towards this and finally start curbing the numbers of charity shops. What would be the problem to opening up empty units to young people and entrepeneurs that want to try their luck in retail that would definitely much more invigorate the high street again with quirky offerings and something different to the exchangeable fare you get everywhere else?

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  January 17 2013, 1:21PM

    We have to many charity shops and now we have another one thats why we have no decent shops in Gloucester.

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  • SandraPee  |  January 17 2013, 11:19AM

    Gosh, surely this will be another nail in the coffin of the city centre . No paying to park outside and ease of dropping off unwanted items . Very worrying times indeed.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 17 2013, 11:03AM

    I can see the headline now; 'City centre charity shops close down due to out of town charity shops (no parking fees) and on-line charity shops (no overheads)'‽

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  • Michael_AH  |  January 17 2013, 8:18AM

    what hope for the High Street when even charity shops are opeing up in out-of-town retail parks?

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  • Rob_quedgeley  |  January 17 2013, 8:04AM

    Is this really what then British retail sector needs? Giant, out of town charity shops. I despair. The high street will end up consisting of just coffee shops, charity shops and clothes retailers.

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