Shelter Scotland: Edinburgh charity shop's popular designer sale cancelled for first time

Shelter Scotland’s annual January charity sale has been cancelled by management for the first time in its 17-year history.

The sale, which draws hundreds of shoppers to the charity’s Stockbridge store, is legendary for bargain prices on some of the world’s most expensive brands, as well as rare artefacts.

Announcing the cancellation, organisers cited coronavirus restrictions in place in Edinburgh, but insisted that there were still ways the public could support the homelessness charity.

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Ailene Young, Head of Retail for Shelter Scotland, said: “Our Stockbridge launch has taken on legendary status over the years. It’s an exciting day for the community as well as being an important source of income for the charity.

Shelter Scotland’s annual January charity sale has been cancelled by management for the first time in its 17-year history. (Credit: Greg MacVean)
Shelter Scotland’s annual January charity sale has been cancelled by management for the first time in its 17-year history. (Credit: Greg MacVean)

"Outside of tier four areas our shops are still open, with extra hygiene and social distancing measures in place, and there are still gems available for those in search of something special.

“We’ve also got a selection of gorgeous Christmas cards and our ‘emergency’ chocolate bars which taste delicious and help Shelter Scotland fight homelessness.

“It’s never been more important that people don’t face homelessness alone.

“We’re asking people to keep supporting us by shopping safely in store or online or by making a donation so that we can bring hope to people at a difficult time."

The sale, which draws hundreds of shoppers to the charity’s Stockbridge store, is legendary for bargain prices on some of the world’s most expensive brands, as well as rare artefacts. (Credit: Greg MacVean)

In 2019, a huge number of locals descended on the store.

Photos from the time show people queuing up to enter the store well in advance of the 10am opening.

Once inside there was barely space to move as eager shoppers hunted through second-hand wares.

Last year’s sale included designer brands such as Liberty, Mulberry and Jimmy Choo, as well as a rare Art Nouveau book by Czech painter, illustrator and graphic artist Alphonse Mucha, signed by the author and one of only 252 produced.

Other items on sale include ‘Olivier’s Dream’, a portrait of the actor Laurence Olivier by artist and fellow thespian Antony Sher; a Picquot-ware tea and coffee set with a tray from the 1950s; a limited edition designer umbrella by BLUNT Umbrellas to mark the anniversary of women’s suffrage; and a Mulberry Walter briefcase.

In 2019, the Shelter store took in more than £2,000 in the first hour of trading.

Shelter’s ebay store is here.

Shop for Christmas cards and gifts on the charity’s website.

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