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Our retail network

Red Cross Shops like the Paddington, NSW store were integral in raising awareness of our centenary and our ongoing everyday work in local communities. Photo: Australian Red Cross

Our retail shop network and online catalogue business support Red Cross by generating funds and providing a presence that engages with local communities.

Along with delivering funds to support Red Cross services, our retail stores provide a practical channel to operate within local communities, engage our supporters and communicate the work of Red Cross. Our volunteer workforce base reflects the diversity of the communities we service.

Maintaining a sustainable business

The success of our retail network is dependent on ongoing donations of quality merchandise from the general public and our business partners and we are active in soliciting donations from these sources. This year we increased the self-sufficiency of stores in processing donated stock locally, minimising warehousing and logistics costs. We target our merchandise sourcing and delivery so that stores receive the right goods to service their market and deliver profits back to our humanitarian operations.

A number of unprofitable stores were reviewed for closure throughout the year. In determining whether to close a store, we weigh up profitability with the impact of closure on the local community, whether we have other connections in the local area, and the availability of other opportunities for our workers. The net decline in the number of Red Cross stores this year was 16, a reduction of 10% of initial store volume.

In the next 12 months we aim to improve our merchandise donation sourcing and supply, increase workforce participation and strengthen ties with local communities.

“The Red Cross Shops in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane, staffed by voluntary helpers, have continued their work of effecting sales of the handicrafts turned out by invalid ex-nurses and soldiers in curative workshops...and excellent sales have been effected.”

1933-1934 Annual Report

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