International Accolade for Aussie Op-Shops
29 September 2011 at 2:14 pm
The humble Aussie op-shop has received international accolades after the Salvos Stores made it into the finals of the Oracle World Retail Awards 2011.
Salvos Stores (Eastern Territory) was nominated for the Responsible Retailer of the Year Award at the Oracle World Retail Awards 2011 – just missing out on the award to British retailer Marks & Spencer.
Salvos Stores – or ‘op-shops’ as they are colloquially known – raise funds for the Salvation Army by selling recycled goods and clothing, and are a familiar sight in towns and cities around Australia.
Salvos Stores were up against stiff competition for the award – Marks & Spencer has a revenue of £9.7 billion, and Kingfisher (another finalist) is the third largest home improvement retailer in the world, with over 900 stores in 8 countries.
Salvos Stores General Manger Neville Barrett says it was a privilege and an honour to reach the finals, and the nomination was a great recognition of the Army's mission.
As well as all profits going straight to supporting Salvation Army programs – such as supporting the homeless, families in need and addiction recovery – Salvos Stores is working hard in other areas to become a model retailer.
As part of its nomination for Responsible Retailer of the Year, The Salvation Army demonstrated that over the past 5 years alone it has reduced the amount of waste being sent to landfill dramatically by 75 per cent – 4,000 tonnes of waste has been eliminated.
The Salvos have also found new ways to recycle products that weren’t being recycled previously – such as through their mattress recycling facility, which has saved more than 12,000 mattresses from landfill.
Unsold items from Salvos Stores are now being sent to third world countries – so far 670 tonnes of clothing alone has been sent. The Salvos have started a volunteer men’s program to break down white goods/electrical appliances so the steel and copper can be recycled.
Salvos Stores General Manager Neville Barrett says in the past year alone Salvos Stores have slashed plastic bag usage by 3.6 million and decreased electricity consumption by 23 per cent, as well as promoting consumer conscience campaigns.
Increasing sales has meant that 50 per cent of Work for the Dole participants have been able to find casual work with Salvos Stores.
Salvos Stores General Manager Neville Barrett says Salvos Stores started in the 1880s to help people in crisis – today in the Eastern Territory (covering NSW, QLD and the ACT) there are 106 stores, serving over 4 million people a year, from all walks of life.