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Charity shops to receive the Mary Portas treatment on BBC Two


Mary Portas, the no-nonsense presenter of hit series Mary, Queen Of Shops, embarks on her toughest challenge yet for BBC Two: turning round the fortunes of Britain's charity shops.

 

In Mary, Queen Of Charity Shops, a new three-part series from Optomen, Mary takes on charity shop brands in order to transform them into must-stop-shops on the high street.

 

As well as focussing on how the outlets themselves operate, she must also tackle the public's perception of charity shops and influence how consumers make their purchasing decisions.

 

From well-worn woollies to last season's fashion faux pas, charity shop staff face a sales challenge like no other: how to turn other people's cast-offs into stock that will sell.

 

And, with strong competition from low cost fashion chains, the declining quality of donations, and the general stigma some attach to buying second-hand, it can be tough to even tempt people through the door.

 

Mary says: "I want to turn these hardworking and dedicated volunteers into clued-up retail experts, their jumble sale stock into must-have collections.

 

"At the same time, I intend to radically change consumer shopping habits, and prove a trip to a local charity outlet can be a fun and rewarding experience."

 

Mary believes charity shops represent a key part of the future of shopping: a vast number of consumers worry about ethical shopping and the environment and charity shops provide a route to a greener way to shop where everybody wins.

 

And the stakes are high. Mary's ambition is to transform both the image of charity shops and their bottom line – and if she succeeds, her strategy will be rolled out nationwide.

 

The series was commissioned for BBC Two by Elaine Bedell, Controller of Entertainment Commissioning.

 

She said: "This promises to be exciting, must-watch television with real purpose at its heart. It will be fascinating to see whether Mary can carry out the transformation she hopes to make or whether this time she has bitten off more than she can chew."

 

The series will be Executive Produced for the BBC by Mirella Breda and for Optomen by Becky Clarke.

 

RF

 

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Category: Factual & Arts TV; BBC Two
Date: 02.10.2008
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