A decision to revitalise and extend RSPCA South Australia’s Op-Shop network is providing a much-needed windfall to counter increasing animal care costs, with a new store set to open at Sefton Park next month.
Prominently located on Regency Road, near the intersection with Main North Road and with easy public transport access, the new store – opening on Saturday July 6 – will sell a range of pre-loved merchandise including a large range of children’s clothing and toys.
Sales from RSPCA SA’s existing seven stores, including its Op-Shop Superstore at Kidman Park (opened in September last year), raised more than $400,000 towards animal rescue and care costs last year.
According to RSPCA SA Commercial Operations Manager Ben Dawson, last year’s Op Shop income (which represented a 75% increase on the previous year) is likely to be eclipsed this year thanks to an ever-growing customer base and the opening of an eighth store.
“For many years, our Op Shops flew under the radar for many people, but our brand is becoming increasingly recognised in this competitive recycled goods space,” Mr Dawson said.
“What we’re seeing now is payoff for actions taken a couple of years ago, including the total refurbishment of all our shops, a strong marketing campaign, strict quality control on accepted items and the opening of our flagship superstore at Kidman Park.”
Enthusiastic support from the South Australian community, as both donors of saleable goods and as shoppers, is helping the organisation fund its core role in caring for animals in need. The quality care RSPCA SA provides animals constitutes the greatest percent of its annual costs, with more than $5.5m spent in the current financial year caring for nearly 9000 animals.
Securing multiple, reliable income streams is part of RSPCA South Australia’s commitment to securing long-term financial security, with the Op-shop network among several commercial ventures underway or in the pipeline.
“We are totally dependent on support from our community to fund our animal care and rescue work, and most people would probably be surprised to know the kind of costs involved,” Mr Dawson said.
“For example, it costs us about $1000 to rehome an animal once all the care costs including veterinary care are taken into account.
“This new Sefton Park store will provide another avenue for animal lovers to support animals needing a second chance at life.”
A fashion parade is among the family-friendly activities planned for the new store’s opening day, with plenty of giveaway prizes, a Rio’s coffee cart on standby to rejuvenate tired shoppers and goodie bags for the first 20 customers who come through the door.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the store’s success is encouraged to either donate items, buy items or volunteer their time. Donations can be made at any of RSPCA South Australia’s existing seven Op Shops, located in Kidman Park, Blackwood, Brighton, Warradale, Semaphore, Marden and Prospect, or at its Stepney headquarters or Lonsdale shelter.
To help ensure items are of high enough quality for resale, RSPCA SA asks that people only donate items that they would happily give to a friend.