Emmaus Colchester has seen massive growth in online sales during the coronavirus pandemic. With the continued support of its Instagram followers, the charity that supports those who have formerly experienced homelessness, has been selling furniture and household items through the popular social media platform.
Led by retail manager, Gemma Aylesbury, the sales have helped to generate an income that has been lost through the closures of the charity’s four shops in the town centre, and other services such as house clearances.
Gemma says: “Since the closure of our shops we’ve seen an exponential leap in online sales. We’ve had such a great response from our supporters since we opened up our Instagram account to online sales, and we’ve seen an increase in followers and engagement.
“We’ve received lots of positive comments, and our customers are particularly pleased that we’re still open for business. They seem to be going out of their way to support us and the work we do in the community.
“Whether our customers are making a furniture purchase to upcycle or to use as it is, making a purchase is giving them something to look forward to while we are all stuck at home.”
Once items are purchased, Emmaus Colchester can hold onto them for collection or delivery, until it is safe to do so.
It’s been a busy time for Emmaus Colchester, but while sales have been positive, the charity’s stock is depleting. Gemma says: “We’d like to urge the public to hold onto their preloved furniture and household items and keep us in mind when the lockdown eases.”
Denise King, chief executive officer said: “We are delighted with the sales from Instagram. Even in these challenging times, our supporters on Instagram have shown there is still a demand for secondhand furniture and other home items.
“Of course, we all miss the shops and can’t wait to welcome our customers as soon as they reopen. In the meantime, you can find us on Instagram @emmauscolchester where we will continue to sell our items online.”