Views from a Paris window + shopping

Mary Portas Queen of Charity Shops
Mary Portas queen of shops

In the series “Mary Portas queen of shops” we watched how Portas tackled struggling independent businesses and breathed life and wealth back into them with ideas about merchandising the store, to buying and pricing strategies. Now Mary has got her beady eyes on Britain’s charity shops.

Mary believes charity shops represent a key part of the future of shopping: “a vast number of consumers worry about ethical shopping and the environment and charity shops provide a route to a greener way to shop where everybody wins”.

I loved “Mary Portas queen of shops” first time round and with my love of charity shops I cannot wait to see how this series is going to go and if Portas will succeed in her mission. I was watching last night on BBC2 at 9pm along with you guys thinking it was all going to have to turn out nice in the end because otherwise what is the point of the series? Awareness?

After watching the first five minutes it was clear poor Mary had her work cut out for her with the shop, dumped donations and Nick the apparent “Manager”. What surprised me most was the mindset of the people. Some of the volunteers did not think the shop needed a change, some were not open to change and some refused to change. If Portas cannot get the volunteers to want to change their mind sets about the store how does she endeavour to change the buying public’s minds about shopping at charity shops?

I am more than sure the BBC show will split people’s opinions on Mary Portas. Some cannot stomach her and find her patronising or condescending. Making the complaint that the shop workers were just volunteers and that they had been in that same job for 30 odd years. On the other side we have Mary Portas who has a wealth of retail knowledge and wants to help them make money by making some simple changes and treat them like a business. Mary Portas is marmite?

I cannot wait to watch the rest of the series and I really want this “plan” to work for Portas, the charity shops and the public. If we can change people’s ideas or perceptions that these stores are not just dumping grounds for our old tat and are in fact goldmines for great fashion and bric a brac than I will be happy and content. I will be tuning in for more “Mary Portas queen of charity shops” next week.

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Mary Portas Queen of Charity Shops + shopping