for good

When everyday Australians purchased clothing, homewares and other items through Red Cross stores this year, they helped us provide vital services to people dealing with disadvantage and isolation, including struggling families, people seeking humanitarian protection, older people, at-risk children and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Retail staff and volunteers Roxy, Maxine and Maria enjoy a pop-up shop event in Sydney.
Australian Red Cross/Dilini Perera

The proceeds from these sales support Red Cross’ work in Australia and further afield. Our retail network also facilitates important connections in local communities and conversations between our customers, our store volunteers and our staff - helping us to spread the word about the wonderful work made possible when communities rally together.

In 2014/2015, Red Cross operated 147 stores around Australia. We had seven fewer stores than the previous year, but managed to deliver a stronger net income while establishing important national partnerships with two prominent Australian retailers.

By going back to basics this past year, Red Cross retail has been able to focus on the things that really matter: prioritising our customers, training our volunteers and staff, and soliciting quality product to maximise funding for our broader work in the community.

Part of this focus involved developing a new loyalty card that rewards purchases and product donations. We also introduced a new retail induction program to ensure all existing and new team members feel safe and informed of store processes.

Our challenges are typical of a far-reaching retail operation: repairs and store maintenance remain an ongoing focus for Red Cross, as does ensuring we have the right stores in the right locations. In 2015/2016 we will look at the viability of opening Red Cross stores in Canberra, which is the only Australian region that doesn’t yet have a Red Cross retail presence.

We are currently planning store-wide communications to better inform our customers where their funds are going. It is important to us that we remain transparent about the impact our customers are having on everyday Red Cross work. We will continue working to develop more cost-effective, secure supplies of goods to sell, and more efficient ways of transporting product to our stores.

Shop in-store or online to support our everyday work.
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