But now, as these two shops opposite the Broad Street Mall illustrate, charity shops are aiming at the quality end while some retailers are taking up the space in the market they used to occupy.
While Ponden Home screams its 70% off message, Sue Ryder is all elegance and femininity. With free stock and no staff costs, the prominence of charity shops does not seem to be slowing.
Good causes may be gaining but such an aggressive expansion suggests there may be more than just the needy who benefit. I doubt the business brains behind the proliferation of these shops are going unrewarded.