Oxfam’s annual high street sales dropped 50% last year due to enforced shop closures, but there was some good news at the end of year as online sales increased almost 90% over the festive period.
Total sales for the Oxfam Online Shop during the nine-week trading period rising to more than £3.4 million – an increase of £1.5m.
The increase was driven in part by a 421% jump in sales of the Sourced by Oxfam range of ethically sourced and sustainable new products. Sales of second-hand items also rose by 84% as people turned to the internet for their shopping amid Covid restrictions.
Books were the top selling second-hand item in the online shop during the Christmas period, as people sought out entertainment and escapism over the long winter months. Rare, signed books also went into shopping baskets, including a collection of three poems by Lord Alfred Tennyson and illustrated by Edward Lear, which raised £2,500 for Oxfam.
Women’s clothes were the second biggest seller, with coats and jackets the most popular items, and a Chanel designer tweed coat selling for £1,150.
Christmas card sales were up by 800%, reflecting the nation’s need to share well-wishes during a challenging festive period.
Top selling Christmas presents from the Sourced by Oxfam range included gardenwares like the Eden Project bee house and the recycled sari birdhouse.
Sales figures are for the nine-week Christmas Trading period from November 2 to 28 December compared to the same weeks in 2019.
Peter Haden, Oxfam’s Chief Support Officer, said:
“The performance of our online shop was a bright light at an otherwise gloomy time for our shops. With another lockdown now underway, continued strong online sales will be crucial in raising much needed money for our work with communities around the world fighting hunger and Covid.
“I can’t thank the public enough for their support – and our volunteers and shop managers for their excellent work raising funds for Oxfam during a challenging time for the high street.