Monday, 8 June 2009

Mary Queen of Shops

I finally got round to watching this from last week; sorry I'm so slow, there's been a ton of TV on this week.
I admit I have a vested interest as I work for a charity myself (which one?! Oh you know, animals, disabilities, minorities, illness, one or none of the above) This show follows Mary Portas taking over a charity shop and trying to give charity shopping a new image. There ARE some good charity shops though; Traid in Holloway Road is excellent, they actually pick out the decent stuff and even colour-code it- woo! (And the shop assistants are good-looking, skinny young teenagers) I just think charity shops in general are horrifically overpriced. Every time I go in one, I see Primark stuff in there for twice what it costs in Primark. Dur. Oh and most of them stink. There's one near where I work on Leather Lane market and it has the mankiest stuff in. It's really grim beyond words.
So Mary Portas arrived and shook up all the old grannies who'd worked there for 30, 40 years! I bet they LOVED that. I thought it was sweet that one of the old dears said 'If it helps make change for children I'll do it.' Aww. That's more than head office think, as was evidenced by that shop manager, who seemed to just want an easy life. He didn't put across a very good image. It's nice to see the volunteers who really, really care. It's humbling, actually, when you work in a head office yourself. Not that we waste money; we are actually quite good where I work (I'm in charge of the budget for my team, and I'm strict!) My old charity job? Money was splashed around there, and it was criminal. The money spent on branding alone was just obscene.
I can't believe the absolute grossness people donate to charity shops; I always donate half-reasonable stuff. Ergh, dirty rugby boots! Dirty undies! Nappies!!! Disgusting. People are truly animals. That jacket that had gone all hard was beyond a joke.
It all went a bit Apprentice-y when Mary took them out to sell cupcakes on the market. They were not happy! It's hard to get out of your comfort zone when you're over 65- it's hard enough when you're 29!
I thought her idea of rebranding donations by not putting them in bin bags as bin bags make people think of rubbish was inspired. I liked her doorstopping people and basically rummaging through their cupboards herself.
The head office at Save should pay for shop managers; we ran a zillion shops in my old job and they all had paid shop managers and they made tons of money. They just aren't thinking outside the box.
More of this show on tomorrow. Interesting stuff.

No comments: