I went to the UK's biggest charity shop – I couldn't believe the bargains and there's a unique feature | The Sun

THE first thing I notice as I step into the UK's biggest charity shop is just how far the bargains stretch before me.

I've visited a fair amount of second-hand stores in my time, but nothing on the same scale as this.

There are rows and rows of everything you could ever want or need to buy, from pre-loved furniture to exercise bikes.

The British Heart Foundation superstore in Kingston, London, spans 17,000 square feet – bigger than any other charity shop in the UK.

That's larger than an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and 17 times the size of the typical charity shop you'd find on the high street.

Throughout the year the store churns through 35,000 customer transactions and sells over 200,000 items.

Read more in Charity

I used a clever trick to get £330 holiday vouchers with £110 Clubcard points

Three things to always buy with a Tesco Clubcard and two to avoid

It's one of BHF's five little-known "superstores", with other branches found in Coventry, Edinburgh, Peterlee and Castleford.

But beyond the size, there's one major selling point about its biggest store that entices customers.

Anything the British Heart Foundation sells across its stores can be found at the Kingston branch, making it a perfect one-stop shop.

'Something for everybody'

Manager Christine Edwards, from Surbiton in South-West London, has been running the Kingston branch since 2019.

Most read in Money


Major change to supermarket offers delayed again – will it affect your shop?


Rocketing mortgage rates set to hit households harder than in the 80s


McDonald's fans have just spotted TWO new items on the menu for summer


Energy supplier launches 'UK's cheapest' fixed deal that's £100 less than price cap

She prides herself on it having "something for everybody".

That means while the prices on offer aren't lower than other, smaller, BHF stores, you can get anything you'd ever find in one under one roof.

At any one time, there are tens of thousands of items on sale, with new stock coming in every day.

In fact, three entire vans of goods are delivered to the store each day and the shop floor is constantly being replenished.

It tells when you first walk into the branch, with the central area filled with sofas, armchairs and more, surrounded by different sections.

At first, the sheer scale of the store is overwhelming – imagine the feeling you get stepping into a high street branch and multiply that by 10.

But the department store feel helps, with a rectangular-shaped pathway guiding you around until you get back to the front door.

On the way around there's a dedicated section for each group of products, including vintage, new electrical goods, beds, furniture, exercise bikes and sports gear, women's and menswear, shoes, accessories, DVDs and CDs, books and vinyls.

Despite the prices being the same as other BHF stores, the Kingston branch has one section you'll definitely want to hit up – "last chance to buy".

You'll find items there that have minor wear and tear and massively reduced in price to stop them from going into landfill.

Christine said she's seen armchairs sell for £3, sofas for £5 and glass TV stands for just a quid.

Display cabinets have been known to sell for £4 too.

Maximise the experience

It's worth noting that, unlike car boot sales and antiques fairs, you can't haggle prices at the Kingston branch as they are fixed.

That said, the store regularly slashes prices on its goods across the year.

The two main sale dates are in late December to early January and July to August.

There's also a clearance sale on home items around Easter and late August.

You'll want to head there at certain times to avoid the crowds of shoppers and give yourself the best chance at nabbing a bargain.

Christine said its busiest days were Friday through to Sunday and throughout the week 3pm to 5pm is when footfall is highest.

So if you want to maximise your shopping experience, it's best to go Monday through to Thursday in the morning.

How to find a superstore near you

A number of charities run superstores like the one in Kingston, albeit on a smaller scale.

Cancer Research UK operates 30 – you can find your nearest one by using the "find a shop" tool on its website.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army has two megastores, based in Northampton and Banbury.

You can always try visiting BHF's four other larger branches in Coventry, Edinburgh, Peterlee and Castleford too.

Read more on The Sun

I’m a hairy girl – people try to make me uncomfortable, I’m learning not to care

UK airport that has a beer garden right next to the runway

The British Heart Foundation was founded in 1961 and any money it makes is used to fund research into heart and circulatory diseases.

The charity saves over 56,000 tonnes of goods from going to waste every year, including over 180,000 sofas.

Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article

Previous post Up to 500 people missing in Greek migrant boat disaster, warns UN
Next post Which VERY successful manager once sashayed down the catwalk?