Today is a very exciting day for my team – it marks the opening of a new Tŷ Hafan Emporium shop in the Royal Arcade, Cardiff. This is the third Emporium shop, following the success of shops in Cowbridge and Abergavenny, and will be the 31st Tŷ Hafan shop in Wales.
I am delighted that we will be joined by one of our families at the opening, with our star for the day being Victoria who was referred to Tŷ Hafan aged 11 and will cut the ribbon at midday.
‘What is an Emporium?’ I hear you shout! Emporium is a boutique-style charity shop with some amazing items for sale. You will find anything from high-quality designer goods, often donated by Tŷ Hafan ambassadors, such as the Manolo Blahnik shoes on sale in Cardiff today, donated by Lucy Owen, to vintage homewares, quirky items, vinyl records, vintage curios and even a small amount of new goods (including purses, handbags and accessories), all available at a very affordable price.
This really is a charity shop with a difference, designed with vintage style - making it unlike anything Cardiff has seen before.
We opened the first Emporium shop in Cowbridge in 2013, and then Abergavenny in 2014. Each Emporium shop has its own style, and we see double the average customer spend in our Emporium shops when compared to our standard shops.
As with any charity shop, we are completely reliant on the kindness and goodwill of the public for our stock - over 96% of the items sold in our shops are donated. I am amazed on a daily basis by the great items that are donated to Tŷ Hafan, and I urge you to visit any of our shops so that you can see this for yourself – and get a bargain at the same time!
We are also reliant on the public to support our shops by volunteering their time. Any of our shops would welcome any support from people of all ages and abilities, and in return we can offer you a friendly working environment and the opportunity to learn new skills whilst making new friends.
Emporium sits within the Tŷ Hafan Retail portfolio alongside Standard and Outlet shops. There are 25 Standard shops (these are the backbone of our department), and three Outlet shops (all of which include a very popular £1 area). The demarcation of three brands allows us to make the most of every item donated, enabling us to raise as much as possible from the sale of those goods, whilst offering a great retail experience to every customer at the same time. We are the only charity in Wales to operate our shops in this way.
The Retail department is vital to Tŷ Hafan, it raises over a third of the income required to pay for the care costs of supporting life limited children and their families in Wales. I am very proud of what has been achieved within the Retail team, and was delighted to see some of this work recognised at the recent South Wales Business Awards where we won the Retail Business of the Year 2015 award, against some tough commercial competition (as the only charity finalist) – a fantastic achievement for my hardworking team, which includes over 750 volunteers.
I really hope that you can visit our new Emporium in Cardiff soon, and I would like to thank you all for your support on the journey so far – as cliché as it sounds, we couldn’t do it without you.