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The changing structure of charity retailers in Edinburgh’s built environment


  • Nicola Livingstone



The retail market contributes significantly to the British economy, but the niche market of charity retailing within it has seen little attention – a lacuna that this article seeks to address. Charity retailing is a recent phenomenon, emerging after the Second World War. The objective of this article is to address the spatial development of Edinburgh’s charity retailers, informed by an overview of the city’s current economic climate and retail market. Edinburgh is conceptualized within a general, UK perspective prior to case study analysis. It was chosen due to the significant number of charity retailers within the city. The article examines socio-economic data about Edinburgh taken from the most recent census, alongside an analysis of the locations chosen by its charity retailers. Through this analysis the article concludes that present-day charity retailers operate as profit maximizers, in locations favourable to appropriating the best quality donations and highest prices for the commodities offered. This is in direct contrast with the notion that they are still likely to be discovered in areas where there is a need demonstrated by poverty indicators.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicola Livingstone, 2011. "The changing structure of charity retailers in Edinburgh’s built environment," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 26(2), pages 122-133, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:26:y:2011:i:2:p:122-133

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