More charity furniture stores mean trouble in Paradise

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A Dacorum community project that sells secondhand furniture cheaply to people on benefits is feeling the pressure as more charities set up shop.

Paradise Furniture Project in Hemel Hempstead is appealing for the public not to forget about its store in Wood Lane when they are getting rid of their unwanted items.

Furniture sales and donations are down at the warehouse, which is run by Community Action Dacorum.

Warehouse manager Wendy Dove said: “Customers are going to the British Heart Foundation because it has the advantage of a town centre location.

“It does have nice furniture but at a higher price than us.

“We help people on benefits but we are struggling with finances because increasing utilities bills, losing customers to other stores and donations we collect falling by about 25 per cent.

“People on benefits can buy from us at half price, and if we can’t continue this service they would lose out.”

St Albans-based furniture project Emmaus started trading in London Road in September, hot on the heels of the opening of the British Heart Foundation store in Marlowes, and the Dacorum Emergency Night Shelter also holds sales of household goods.

Wendy has started to look for donations from people in Watford and surrounding areas and is also selling items at Dacorum Horizons, which has a more central location in Marlowes.

Wendy said: “We have to work alongside other charities but the additional stores are having an affect. We don’t have a budget for marketing like some do.”