Dove House to open menswear charity shop in Beverley
RECORD numbers of male customers have prompted a Beverley charity shop to open a branch aimed at men.
Dove House Hospice says moving the menswear to a more prominent position in its Dyer Lane shop led to a quadrupling of sales.
The charity will close its neighbouring Swaby's Yard shop tomorrow and refit it solely for male customers.
Marisa Haines, Dove House retail division manager, said: "There are no male-only shops in Beverley apart from Burtons or high-end clothing retailers.
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"We are hoping to create a relaxed, informal shop with lots of clothing, jeans and accessories, as well as 'blokey' books and nic-nacs.
"After extending the menswear offer in our Dyer Lane shop, the men of Beverley have bucked all the normal pre-conceptions that men don't shop in charity shops.
"The income from our menswear department has steadily increased and we feel there is so much more we can do if we had the space."
Julie Jessop, who manages the Beverley shops, says the increase in male trade has crossed all age barriers.
She said: "We expanded our menswear range in May and it really took off, we get teenagers in, everybody.
"There isn't a stigma any more about charity shops.
"Dove House doesn't look like a charity shop used to look."
The charity menswear shop, the first in the East Riding, hopes to follow in the success of other charity outlets where women have traditionally been the main customers.
Mrs Jessop said: "I think the boom may be down to the economic situation. People still want to go out and look nice but they want to do it for less money."
To promote their new menswear range, Dove House roped in assistant Dyer Lane manager Simon Coates for the male view.
He said: "I use charity shops all the time – I think they're on a par with high street stores now.
"It's about time the men had something.
"In the current climate men can't afford to be spending money on clothes for work, for example."
The new Dove House menswear shop is due to open in Swaby's Yard on Friday, September 14. The site was used for furniture and bric-a-brac.
Dove House is on the lookout for new, larger, premises to continue that side if its business.