Rowcroft has been warmly welcoming customers back to its 14 shops, boutiques and cafes across South Devon, and we’re noticing a renewed sense of joy and enthusiasm from customers for instore shopping! We are reporting a strong return to retail sales demonstrating the desire of Rowcroft’s loyal customers and supporters, despite a national drop in retail footfall against 2019 figures.
“Having been locked down for so many months, it’s wonderful to see our customers out and about again in their local high streets and really enjoying the shopping experience in Rowcroft Hospice’s stores,” says Rowcroft’s Head of Retail Caroline Wannell. “We’ve missed our customers so much, and it’s been brilliant to welcome them back and see them browsing our fabulous selection of unique and gorgeous clothing in our summer collection.
“We’ve heard from lots of our customers that they’ve really missed their shopping trips as they are often a highlight of the week! So, they’re thrilled to be able to visit us again for beautiful pre-loved clothes, accessories and other items. Whilst shopping online has so many benefits, it’s not the same experience as being instore: you can’t feel the fabrics, thoroughly examine a garment, or check whether the colours suit your skin tone. Plus, many of our customers enjoy making a day of their shopping trip as a way of spending quality time with friends, and so they combine their visit to our shop with a treat of coffee and cake and often a lunch too. We certainly all need a treat or two after the year we’ve been through! Our cafés in our Chelston and Churston boutiques, and Ella’s Mobile Café at Torquay Harbour, enable our customers to indulge in a delicious selection of refreshments, scrumptious locally-baked cakes and tasty on-trend light lunches.
“Making purchases in our shops and cafés is a great way to support the hospice, as the proceeds from every transaction go directly to caring for patients and families. Our shops, boutiques and cafes are popular with customers young and old alike, and appeal to those who prefer a greener shopping experience because most of the items are pre-loved and recycled.”
Rowcroft has 14 shops and cafés across South Devon in: Totnes, Bovey Tracey, Brixham, Churston, Dartmouth, Paignton (retail outlet and furniture shop), Teignmouth and Torquay – in Babbacombe, Chelston, St Marychurch, Teignmouth Road (furniture) and Wellswood. Rowcroft’s vintage café van – Ella’s Mobile Café – is currently at Torquay Harbour. All shops are open Mondays to Saturdays 9am to 4.30pm, and are operating in line with COVID-secure guidance to keep customers, staff and volunteers safe.
The shops sell a range of pre-loved and designer fashion and stunning accessories such as bags, hats and scarves, plus a wide range of homeware, collectables, antiques, books, as well as new toys and games. Additionally, there are two shops – in Paignton and Torquay – that specialise in furniture, and the furniture only collection telephone line is open on 01803 210832.
“We’re so grateful to our wonderful local communities and customers who support us, not just through purchasing items, but also through their generous donations and by volunteering for us,” says Caroline. “All of this support makes such a difference in helping us to raise crucial funds to care for as many patients and families as possible across the region. And given the increased demand for end-of-life care in South Devon, this support is more important than ever.”
Rowcroft’s Retail Team depends heavily upon its volunteers who help in running the shops and cafés. Volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including serving customers, operating the till, sorting donations and stocking shelves. In the cafés, volunteers help to prepare delicious refreshments, snacks and lunches. We’re currently looking for volunteers to help in various locations including: the Totnes shop, Paignton furniture outlet; Paignton Victoria Street shop; St Marychurch shop; Torquay furniture outlet; shop and café in Chelston, Torquay; and Ella’s Mobile Café – the vintage café van based at Torquay Harbour.
For further information about our shops and cafés, and to find out how you can support Rowcroft, please call 01803 210800 or visit the website at: www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk