#RetailEXPO19: Demand for pre-loved goods boosting British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation is benefitting from its implementation of new technology that is helping it to better satisfy growing demand for pre-loved clothing and other goods

Following a review of the technology infrastructure across its extensive retail business, BHF recognised that it required a new solution that would enable it to fulfil its objectives of maximising the value of donated goods.

Mike Taylor, commercial director at British Heart Foundation (BHF), said at RetailEXPO in London that the company was increasingly utilising and selling across various channels including eBay, Gumtree, and Depop as well as its 738 physical stores and own website. To better handle this spread the company has implemented a solution from K3 and Microsoft Dynamics AX. 

This has enabled it to deal with the complexity of handling a mixture of donated goods - up to 100 million items each year - as well as new goods and significant amounts of product donated from major retailers like DFS and Benson Beds. On top of this BHF also has to manage Gift Aid, which amounts to many millions of pounds off revenue per year.

“With 70% of goods donated and also new items we’ve had two stock files so with AX we are simplifying this. It also enables us to do promotions, to produce the information required by our [retail] partners who give us stock, and more easily handle the collection of old items from their customers,” explained Taylor.

With its new technology suite in place the charity is well positioned to benefit from sustainability moving up the agenda. “It’s on people’s minds and there is a whole movement to re-use and re-purpose. People call us a charity retailer but that’s just where the money ends up. We’re really re-use retailer,” he suggested.

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