Bognor charity shop to close after 10 years of trading

4Sight staff and volunteers celebration. Picture contributed
4Sight staff and volunteers celebration. Picture contributed

The closure of 4Sight Vision Support Charity Shop in Bognor has been announced today (Tuesday).

The shop said it will be closing its doors for the last time on March 13, after 10 years of trading.

A spokesman added: "It is with sadness we announce that, after 10 years of trading, the 4Sight Vision Support Charity Shop will be closing on March 13, 2019.

"Despite the best efforts of our wonderful staff and volunteers to increase sales and profits over the past year, we have not seen the necessary uplift. And with the shop lease due for renewal later this year, we have reluctantly taken the decision to close."

Shop manager Sarah Brooks said the decision to close the shop is 'obviously disappointing' and thanked the work of the 'amazing team of volunteers'.

She added: "It really is true to say that without our amazing team of volunteers, we couldn’t have achieved what we have done since 2009.

"And as many of our customers have said to us over the years, they have loved being able to support a local charity, with real services helping people with sight loss in Bognor and Arun.

"As well as the income it has raised, having a high street presence in Bognor has helped boost the charity’s profile, raise awareness of the work we do to support visually impaired people, and help recruit volunteers interested in our charity’s mission."

Sarah said the team have also been able to give many volunteers 'an opportunity to support a local good cause and their community' by working in the shop.

Nik Demetriades, CEO said the shop could not continue to operate with a 'potential hard-Brexit looming'.

She said: "With the current seemingly continuing decline in the retail sector and a very competitive and overcrowded charity retail sector in Bognor, it has made it an almost impossible task to be profitable– especially when faced with other charity shops that have both a larger supporter base and impressive behind the scenes operational networks."

The charity spokesman said it has worked hard over the last 12-18 months to 'turn around the shop’s performance' with a range of initiatives.

"[This included] improvements to the shop’s interior and brightening the exterior, increasing our customer service levels and developing our team of volunteers," the spokesman continued.

"Unfortunately, it was not to be. As an independent charity, we need to be mindful of the return we generate from our efforts and in this regard the numbers just don’t add up.

"The shop’s final day of trading will be Wednesday March 13 and to help it go out with a bang, a large sale will begin on the February 5 until
the doors close."

The charity confirmed items from clothing to shelving units, bric a brac to display models will all be included in the 50 per cent sale for a total clearance.

The spokesman urged: "Come down and grab a bargain and say your farewells to the shop staff and volunteers. Regrettably, we will no longer
be able to take donations.

"The closure of the shop will not affect the charity’s service delivery and as ever, we are currently recruiting volunteers to support our existing services.

"Interested people should contact the Volunteer Coordinator on 01243 828555.

"The charity’s Board of Trustees, Senior Management Team and Staff want to thank everyone who has supported the charity shop over the years and invites anyone who wants to find a way to stay involved to get in touch.

"And of course, if you are passing before the shop closes, please drop in to say hello and grab yourself a bargain."

Click here to continue donating to people living with sight loss in West Sussex