Nottingham’s charity shops ‘thriving’ as research shows city shoppers love a bargain

A charity has said they and other stores are “thriving” after a recent study named Nottingham among the top five thriftiest cities in the UK. The study showed there are currently a staggering 172 charity shops in Nottingham, the largest city in the top 10, and 41 regular car boot sales.

The research, conducted by selling site, analysed 70 UK cities on the number of charity shops and regular car boot sales in and around each one. Those numbers were compared with each city’s population size to reveal a “thrift score” out of 20 based on the number of shops and sales per 100k of the population – Nottingham scored 11.754.

NotttinghamshireLive spoke with the British Heart Foundation, as well as regular charity shop-goers, to find out more about the demand for charity shops and how resourceful people in Nottingham really are with money. Sales assistant for the British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical store in Nottingham city centre, Rosemary Oliver, 58, said: “The store is doing pretty well. Have you heard that there are some stores in the city that have been closing down?

“But we still have lots around here, we’ve got the Cancer Research charity, the Oxfam book store and Barnardo’s across the road which is great. We’re doing well; our store footfall can get quite busy – we’re certainly thriving pretty well.”

“It’s not always as busy; at the beginning of the year and when everything was opening up after the pandemic it wasn’t easy but that’s what it’s like. Recently we’ve been very busy and we have lots of students coming in who want to refurbish their flats that they may have just moved in to, we do lots discounts for students.

“It’s great to see how popular these charity shops can be and being able to help people out.”

Retired 71-year-old Mary Smith, from Rainworth, said: “Yes I think charity shops are great. People now are needing them more than ever because of everything that’s gone on these years and coming out of the pandemic.

“It’s an awful situation in Nottingham at the moment, people are in serious need of charity shops as prices everywhere else are going up. I love them – I actually prefer shopping there more than most other places!”

With Nottingham coming fifth, it was Cornish city Truro that was revealed as the thriftiest, with 12 charity shops and five regular car boot sales against the 21,500 people who live there. The second thriftiest city in the UK is Lincoln, which has a population of 97,500 and 20 charity shops.

There are also 58 regular car boot sales in and around Lincoln, the most of any city per the population in the UK. Chichester and Wakefield made up the rest of the list, with Wakefield being the second-largest city to make it in the top 10, behind Nottingham.

Harry Holroid, 27, said: “The big thing is that they’re cheap. It’s not just that, though, usually the clothes in there are just as good as you get in most other places and obviously a lot less expensive a lot of the time.

“It’s embarrassing but I used to have a bit of variety when I shopped but it’s mainly charity shops for me now! You can get so much there, they’re the best.

“I think maybe they’re getting more popular now because of the pandemic that we’ve all just come out of, you know, everybody’s had a difficult time these last couple of years.”

This study was conducted by, a search engine for second-hand products operating across Europe.

A spokesperson for commented on the research: “Charity shops and car boot sales don’t only provide good bargains for customers, but also allow for older items to be resold, something which many consumers are thinking about when shopping. With a 120% increase in searches for charity shops over the last five years, it is clear that many shoppers are now considering where they are buying their items.

“This data allows us to see where in the UK it may be easiest to make more sustainable purchases, as well as where shoppers may be able to find discounts and make savings.”