Scrooge retailers pocket charity Christmas card profits

| December 17, 2009
Scrooge retailers keep charity Christmas card profits

As little as 6% of the cover price of charity Christmas cards sold by high street retailers is passed on to the charity they allege to support, an investigation has uncovered.

Charities earn an estimated £50 million per year from Christmas card sales, with charity cards sold by mainstream retailers making a significant contribution to this total.

However, research by Which? found that charities earn an average of just 13% from charity Christmas cards sold by shops on the high street.

The rest of the cover price goes to the retailer and the card manufacturer.

House of Fraser and Next were found to be the most stingy retailers, donating as little as 6% for some of the charity cards they sell.

Tesco, Rymans, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, and Selfridges all give a mere 10% of the cover price.

Other retailers are more generous. For one particular card pack sold at WHSmith, 100% of the retail price goes to Children in Need. Other charity cards at the retailer average a 20% donation.

Clintons and Waterstones also make donations of around 20%, while Asda makes a 50% donation.

Buying Christmas cards direct from a charity shop means the charity gets to keep 100% of the retail price, minus the costs of production and distribution.

“It’s great that charities earn so much money from high street Christmas cards, but some donations are more generous than others,” said Martyn Hocking, Which? editor.

“Check the back of the card to see how much of your money is actually going to charity.”

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