Cost-of-living crisis causes Trade Aid to close stores, move online

One of the country’s best-known charity retail chains is closing.

Trade Aid will shut its 24 shops, known for selling rugs, baskets, arts and crafts goods from developing countries.

The not-for-profit group was a leader in importing fair-trade products such as coffee and ethically based food items, but said it needed to change to survive.

“The cost-of-living crisis has led to rising costs and diminishing sales, which has significantly impacted on the organisation’s financial performance,” Trade Aid said in a statement.

The shops would be progressively closed and the organisation shifted to online sales, wholesaling and importing from producers and farmers.

Chief executive Paul Davenport told RNZ the changing retail sector had caught up with it.

“What we’ve recognised following Covid, following the cost-of-living crisis, increased inflation, higher interest rates, I think the retail situation in New Zealand is challenging. We’ve decided to pivot.”

Davenport said the non-profit would remain true to its 50-year-old founding philosophy of fair prices and incomes to help overseas communities out of poverty.

“Trade Aid remains committed to its purpose; to improve producers and farmers’ lives through providing them with a fair income and a way out of structural poverty, and to raise Kiwi’s awareness of fair trade.”

Trade Aid thanked its staff, colunteers and customers for their support.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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