Charity shops had a bumper Christmas, while many other prestigeous high street retailers struggled. Charity shops saw an average 11% boost in sales in the run-up to the festive period as shoppers chose second-hand goods over new ones.
Our intrepid reporter, Hazel Nutz visited one such outlet in the sleepy little village of Fingeringhoe, Essex which has reported outstanding sales of 70% plus, these past few years and spoke to resident manageress Wilhelmina Stoker-Dailley, 79.
Ms Stoker-Dailley, who has successfully managed this branch of the local charity shop since 1949 - along with her lifelong friend, Agatha Minge who actually died in 1957 of a sexually transmitted disease - picks up the success story.
"Well dahling, sad to say Aggie copped a dose in 57' due to a dalliance with two overly muscular french cyclists who were touring the UK on a tandem and had stopped off at the Fingeringhoe charity shop hoping to buy a couple a saddles. I must admit they were both gorgeous in the extreme and once Aggie and I saw the size of their respective onions it made our eyes weep in lustful anticipation.
Of course, after a few days the dreaded 'green eyed monster' reared its nasty head and one night, behind my back if you please, Aggie chose to have a frenzied unprotected menage de trois with my beau, Claude and his gorgeous, equally well hung friend Pierre. Well, as you can imagine I was livid and did not speak to Aggie for weeks.
When she fell ill I had no sympathy for her at all, less so as she could have at least purchased a large packet of Trojan Condoms, especially after those kind American servicemen donated a box back in 1950 before being shipped home".
At this point our reporter politely 'coughed' and attempted to get back to the subject in hand, "Forgive me my dahling, but at my age the memories are sweet" replied Ms Stoker-Dailley.
"Well, my dear I put this shop's success down to that fateful day during August 2009 when that nice Mr David Peckham and his rather waspish wife, Dosh, popped in en route to their Hertfordshire Palace.
Apparently, Mr peckham had stopped off while driving through Fingeringhoe as he needed to relieve himself urgently due to having had a dodgy curry...as you'll note, the public conveniences are just next door to the shop as I repeatedly have to tell customers when they are sniffing the stock. In his absence Dosh wandered in and started perusing the clothing range. Well, my dear you could have knocked me over with a seaman's length, she was so taken with our pre-war clothing range, she simply purchased the lot outright, mumbling something about rebranding it under her name....paid cash as well!
Well dear, things just got better from there on, not only has she since returned to buy up our underwear range, now that 'La Senza' have gone bust, but she has obviously spread the word. I now have a regular celebrity and showbiz clientele eager to clear my stock out. Why, only yesterday that lovely Mr George Gooney was in here rifling through my antique drawers and looking at my knick knacks. And last week, that footballing chappie, Ryan Greggs popped in and purchased an 18th Century love-seat, he did not seem at all worried about the heavy stains on the upholstery one little bit. Oh yes, and that hunky Mr George Michael often rings asking if we have any pouffe' but I keep telling him that the area manager, Tarquin only pops in every third Tuesday and that the public conveniences are now closed due to Government cutbacks.
So you see, this little shop has put Fingeringhoe on the International
map and I am now serviced weekly by Charity Shop HQ due to my exceptional turnover.....can I interest you in a pair open crotch Victorian bloomers while you are here Miss Nutz?". At which point our reporter made her excuses and left hurriedly, almost knocking Nick Clegg flying as he and William Hague were entering the shop together to stock up on underwear.